Brazil senators ask high court to SUSPEND President Bolsonaro from social media after he claimed Covid vaccine was linked to AIDS
Brazil senators have asked the country’s high court to suspend President Jair Bolsonaro from social media after he claimed the Covid-19 vaccine was linked to AIDS.
The Senators on Tuesday called for the president to be barred indefinitely from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram after he cited non-existent ‘official reports’ from the British government allegedly finding fully vaccinated people are developing AIDS ‘much faster than expected.’
Bolsonaro made the claim on Thursday in his weekly live address on Facebook, which has removed the video for violating its policies on spreading misinformation.
YouTube went a step further Monday, suspending Bolsonaro for a week, in addition to blocking the clip.
The request came as the Senate commission, which has spent the past six months investigating the Bolsonaro government’s pandemic response, prepared to vote on a damning final report.
It recommends the president face multiple charges, including crimes against humanity, for downplaying Covid-19 and flouting expert advice on containing it.
The pandemic has claimed more than 606,000 lives in Brazil, second only to the United States.
A Senate panel probing the Brazilian government’s pandemic response has asked the Supreme Court and prosecutor general’s office to suspend President Jair Bolsonaro from social media for falsely linking Covid-19 vaccines to AIDS
Facebook and Instagram removed the live stream on Sunday after it was flagged for making false statements about the Covid-19 pandemic.
In it, Bolsonaro said: ‘I’m just going to report it, I won’t comment. I’ve talked about it in the past, I’ve been beaten a lot… here we go: official UK government reports suggest that the fully vaccinated… who are the fully vaccinated?
‘Second dose, right… 15 days later, 15 days after the second dose… fully vaccinated… they are developing Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) much faster than expected,’ the far-right leader said.
‘So, read the article, I won’t read it here because I may have problem with my live (stream).’
After the video was removed, a Facebook spokesperson told Brazilian outlet Folha de São Paulo: ‘Our policies do not allow for claims that Covid-19 vaccines kill or can cause serious harm to people.’
Carlos Lula, president of National Council of Health Secretaries, condemned Bolsonaro’s misinformation claims on Monday, the outlet also reported.
‘It imposes a burden on people with HIV. Another regrettable chapter in this successions of absurdities by the president during the fight against the pandemic,’ he said.
Bolsonaro has frequently had his videos removed from social media sites – including 15 removed from his YouTube channel in July alone – because of misinformation.
He has rallied against vaccinations – and vowed never to get the jab -, branded Covid-19 a ‘little flu’ and constantly attacked measures set in place to combat the spread of the virus.
His rhetoric, according to Porto Alegre councilwoman Karen Santo, was partially to blame when anti-vaxxers with swastika signs clashed with legislators holding a Covid-19 vaccine passport mandate on Wednesday.