After the federal government vetoed R $ 200 million for the development of a national vaccine against Covid-19, Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) stated that the decision was not his and suggested that Minister Marcos Pontes ( Science and Technology) prioritize the project with the resources made available to the folder.
“I even said, ‘It makes fewer missiles and makes more vaccines.’ He releases a missile and doesn’t give a vaccine at the same time. If priority is given, priority is the vaccine, not the missile, ”said Guedes of a conversation with Pontes on the subject.
The economy minister argued that the science and technology budget had been increased this year, so Pontes could find an internal solution not to disrupt research into the development of a Brazilian vaccine.
In March, shortly after the Butantane Institute affiliated with the São Paulo government announced the development of a national vaccine against Covid-19, Pontes told the press that he had already asked Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) to support the start clinical tests with a federally funded immunizer called Versamune®️-CoV-2FC.
During the discussion on the 2021 budget, Congressmen donated an additional R $ 200 million to this project. However, when he approved the spending plan for the year, President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) vetoed the spending, cutting Versamune’s budget.
On Monday (3), the Economy Department’s special finance minister, Waldery Rodrigues, stated that the government was already looking for a solution to allocate the money to the Department of Science and Technology’s research. A day later, Guedes stated that Pontes should seek resources within the portfolio’s own budget.
The Minister of Economic Affairs attended a public hearing in the Chamber with MPs from four commissions: Labor, Finance and Taxes, Education and Social Security.
He tried to defend himself against the latest sentences that had an impact and after another year justified the declaration that he would destroy the new coronavirus with R $ 5 billion. “Every now and then I let go of an unhappy expression, but it’s completely out of context,” he argued.
According to Guedes, the 2020 ruling was described as a celebration of a political deal that would allocate R $ 5 billion from the budget to fight Covid-19, as by that point he already knew that more resources would be needed to address the problem to counter pandemic.
The minister again defended himself against criticism related to other statements, such as that China “invented” the coronavirus. He stated that he was referring to the origin of the virus and reiterated that he had taken the vaccine developed by the Chinese Coronavac.