Apr 27, 2021 - World

Brazilian Senate launches probe into government's handling of pandemic

Jair Bolsonaro

Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil's Senate officially launched an investigation Tuesday into the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that could bring political consequences for President Jair Bolsonaro, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has suffered the world's second-highest death toll from COVID-19, with roughly 400,000 deaths, per Reuters.

  • Bolsonaro has drawn sharp criticism for pushing back against social distancing, masks, and lockdown measures.

The big picture: The probe will likely focus on the government's inability to quickly secure vaccine doses and "missteps in Amazonas," where a variant of the virus first appeared last year.

  • The inquiry will also shine a spotlight on Bolsonaro's role in sabotaging COVID-19 safety measures by targeting local authorities that instituted lockdowns, disseminating misinformation, and encouraging citizens to ignore social distancing measures, Al Jazeera reports.

Earlier this month Bolsonaro slammed the pending investigation. He faces reelection next year.

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