06 de Agosto de 2021


1. CPI returns from break to investigate vaccine purchases

The Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) – the most important political event of the year – reconvened after a legislative break and will investigate the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines. This week, the CPI interviewed people who were involved in negotiations.

On Tuesday, the Commission heard from reverend Amilton Gomes de Paula, who – according to representatives of Davati Medical Supply – facilitated connections between the federal government and companies offering vaccines. The deposition of Marcelo Blanco, former substitute director of the Logistics Department at the Ministry of Health took place on Wednesday. He was asked to clarify if there were bribe requests during negotiations.

On Thursday, the CPI interviewed Airton Soligo, who is known as Cascavel. He was an aide and right-hand man to former health minister General Eduardo Pazuello: “Mistakes were made? Maybe. But they were made while trying to get things right,” he said.

Senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), the president of the CPI, believes the Commission – which has already been extended – could end before it’s given a deadline at the beginning of November. “We have three months of work ahead of us, but I hope we are able to finish before that. We are aiming for justice for all these lost lives and so many other people who have long-lasting effects,” the Senator wrote on Twitter.

IstoÉ: CPI da Covid retoma trabalhos nesta terça e promete desvendar surpresas
G1: Cascavel sobre atuação no Ministério
Senado Federal: Omar Aziz e Randolfe acreditam que CPI pode concluir apurações antes do prazo

2. Printed ballots: President sends matter to Congress despite no proof of electronic ballot boxes fraud

During his regular live stream talk to supporters, President Jair Bolsonaro once again talked about his distrust in the Brazilian electoral system and his suspicions about the safety of electronic ballot boxes. Bolsonaro claimed there is evidence of fraud, despite alleged instances having already been investigated and proven fake by the Supreme Electoral Court over the last few years.

With no proof of fraud, the President persuaded his supporters to protest and political parties to request printed ballots. The matter was also discussed by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) and by the Federal Supreme Court (STF). Protests took place in many cities and internet searches for “printed ballots” soared.

On Saturday (31st), 11 parties submitted a request to present clarification on fraud accusations to the TSE. On Wednesday STF Justice Alexandre de Moraes accepted the TSE request and added the President as a target of the ongoing Fake News inquiry.

Bolsonaro responded during an interview to radio station 93 FM in Rio de Janeiro by saying “His time will come”, without going into detail about what he meant.

El País: Bolsonaro não tem provas sobre fraude de urnas, mas insiste em ilação já desmentida por TSE
Correio Braziliense: 11 partidos vão ao TSE e pedem que Bolsonaro explique ataques contra a urna eletrônica
O Globo: Buscas por ‘o que é voto impresso’ batem recorde
G1: Moraes inclui Bolsonaro em inquérito das fake news por ataques às urnas eletrônicas
Poder 360: “A hora dele vai chegar”, diz Bolsonaro sobre Alexandre de Moraes

3. First contact: White House representative arrives in Brazil to meet Bolsonaro

Joe Biden – who has been the US President since January – has only now initiated communication with the Jair Bolsonaro administration on August 6th. Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor arrived in Brasília to talk to the Brazilian President.

The issues on the table are delicate. The main topics are climate issues and the Amazon, US support for Brazil entering the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, vaccine donations, 5G technology, and Brazil’s participation as a global partner in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Along with the President, Sullivan has also had meetings with Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto and Foreign Affairs Minister Carlos França.

The Brazilian president was one of the last heads of state to recognize Biden’s victory over Donald Trump – a Bolsonaro ally – in the 2020 US presidential election. It wasn’t until the day of Biden’s inauguration that Bolsonaro sent an official message: “I congratulate Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States”.

G1: Conselheiro de Segurança Nacional dos EUA vem ao Brasil para visita com foco nas mudanças climáticas
Correio Braziliense: Bolsonaro se reúne com conselheiro de segurança nacional de Biden

4. Congress aims for reform vote in the second half of the year

The CPI was not the only political institution to return from a break this week. The National Congress reconvened on Monday (2nd). Members of Congress are now focused on approving reforms before elections in 2022.

President of the Chamber of Deputies Arthur Lira (Progressistas-AL) wants the house to vote on the administrative reform in August: “The reform aims to improve public services and make the state more agile and predictable,” he said. The list of issues that will be voted on is long and complex, including the privatization of the postal service, tax reform, and the new Bolsa Família benefit program.

In the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (DEM-MG) is more focused on the economy, aiming to vote on the renegotiation of tax debts. Infrastructure matters will also be discussed, with the BR do Mar proposal and the Railroads Framework at the top of the list.

In the first half of the year only 10 out of 35 bills that were considered priorities for the federal government received approval in Congress, representing just 28.5% of all bills.

G1: Lira espera votar reforma administrativa até o final de agosto
CNN: Congresso deve priorizar pautas econômicas e eleitorais no 2º semestre
G1: Congresso aprova 10 das 35 pautas prioritárias do governo no semestre

5. Despite increased vaccinations and a drop in the number of cases, Brazil has highest COVID-19 death toll in 2021

Although vaccination rates have improved, the SARS-COV-2 pandemic continues to affect Brazil. This week, the number of daily deaths was the lowest since January, with fewer than 1,000 deaths registered. So far, 49% of people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 20.6% of Brazilians are fully vaccinated (as of August 4th).
Pfizer promised to deliver another 17 million doses of its vaccine by August 22nd. All doses will arrive on flights to Viracopos Airport in Campinas (SP).
Despite these signs of progress, Brazil has had the highest number of deaths caused by COVID-19 internationally in 2021. According to a study by demographics expert José Eustáquio – who has worked at the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics and the National School of Statistical Sciences – Brazil registered the leading death toll in the first 200 days of the year with 349,000. India and the US follow with 265,000 and 261,000 deaths respectively. 

R7: Covid-19: Pfizer anuncia entrega de mais 17 milhões de doses da vacina até 22 de agosto
UOLApesar de melhora, Brasil é o país onde mais se morre pela covid-19 em 2021
CNN: Média móvel de mortes por Covid-19 cai ao menor patamar desde janeiro
G1: Vacinação contra a Covid: mais de 49% da população recebeu a primeira dose e 20,6% está totalmente imunizada