Representatives Hank Johnson (GA-04), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Susan Wild (PA-07), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Karen Bass (CA-37) issued the following statement in response to a Brazilian Senate committee recommendation that President Bolsonaro and other government officials face criminal indictments ranging from misuse of public funds to crimes against humanity related to their response to COVID-19 in Brazil.
“The findings of this report are shocking and heartbreaking. We lament this needless loss of life on such a massive scale and commend the work of Brazilian senators for seeking to hold Bolsonaro and his administration accountable for Brazil’s disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic by leading a six-month congressional investigation into the role of the government in the country’s large COVID death toll.”
“Many of the more than 600,000 COVID-19 deaths in Brazil could have been avoided had the Brazilian administration followed international health guidelines on mask use, social distancing, and vaccines. Victims, survivors, and their families should receive justice.”
“Bolsonaro’s recent comments that fully vaccinated people were developing AIDS showcases that he maintains his continuous and dangerous opposition to vaccines and continues to use social media to spread misinformation. As U.S. legislators, we are fully aware of the negative impacts that misinformation can have on public health and democracy. We stand in solidarity with Brazilian authorities who are fighting to stop the mass spread of misinformation in Brazil and resolve to do the same here in the United States.”
“Now is the time for Brazil’s Prosecutor-General, Augusto Aras, to follow through with the accusations brought against Bolsonaro and to ensure justice is served to all Brazilians who lost their lives due to the irresponsible and criminal actions of the Brazilian government.”