Bolsonaro to be investigated after claiming COVID vaccines increase chances of contracting AIDS

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Bolsonaro to be investigated after claiming COVID vaccines increase chances of contracting AIDS


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be under investigation after claiming that coronavirus vaccines could increase the risk of contracting AIDS.

Brazil’s Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes has tasked the country’s top prosecutor, Augusto Aras, to examine the accusation raised by an investigation into the pandemic led by the Brazilian Senate.

Mr Bolsonaro said on a live broadcast on October 24 that “official reports from the UK government suggest that people who are fully vaccinated … are developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) much faster than expected.”

Facebook and Instagram removed the video days later, claiming it violated their rules.

The Brazilian president, who has still not been vaccinated and has often pushed against vaccination warrants, argued that he was simply quoting an article from Exame magazine and making no claims.

Mr Moraes said in his ruling that Bolsonaro “used the modus operandi of mass social media programs”, which requires further investigation.

The future of any probe, however, is uncertain.

Mr Aras rarely goes against the president and has not opened an investigation into Mr Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic despite calls from the Senate committee to do so.

Mr Bolsonaro has flouted local health protocols since the start of the pandemic and complained that restrictions to control the coronavirus were doing more harm than good.

More than 610,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, just behind the United States.

The current seven-day average in the country is less than 300 per day, which analysts have largely attributed to vaccination efforts.

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