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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.

Go deeper

23 hours ago - Health

Biden to GOP governors who resist COVID rules: "Get out of the way"

President Biden speaks at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden spoke out Tuesday against Republican governors who've sought to block vaccine and mask mandates, as COVID-19 cases spike across the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has tried to avoid making the pandemic a partisan issue, but the Washington Post notes the White House "has grown increasingly frustrated" with Republican leaders looking to obstruct health measures.

19 hours ago - Health

New York City revives vaccine passports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York City yesterday became the first city in the U.S. to require proof of coronavirus vaccination for indoor dining and other leisure activities, a measure popular among public health experts but previously squashed by political backlash to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Employers and now local governments are starting to ensure that remaining unvaccinated will have consequences for everyday life, testing the resolve of those who say nothing could persuade them to get a shot.

Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

Greece's Maria Alzigkouzi Kominea and Evangelia Papazogloun the Artistic Swimming Duet Free Routine Preliminary of the Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Aug. 2, 2021 in Japan. Photo" Clive Rose/Getty Images

Greece's entire 12-woman artistic swimming team is out of the Tokyo Olympic Games due to an outbreak of COVID-19 among the group.

Driving the news: Tokyo Games organizers confirmed Wednesday that five members of the Greek team had tested positive for the virus and that their teammates were considered close contacts.