October 1st, 2021


1. CPI links Ministry of Economy to anti-lockdown pact

On Tuesday (09/28), Bruna Morato gave the most shocking deposition so far at the COVID Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI). The lawyer represents 12 physicians who have made accusations against the health insurance company Prevent Senior.

According to a document presented by these doctors, the company formed an alliance with the federal government to create a “parallel cabinet” to handle the pandemic and even made an anti-lockdown pact.

“There was an ideological alignment because they claimed the economy could not stop. They (the administration) had to offer hope so people would carry on with their activities. And this hope had a name: hydroxychloroquine,” said the lawyer.

Opposition senator Rogério Carvalho (PT-SE) showed a video at the CPI connecting Prevent Senior to members of the administration who called on people to use the “preventive treatment” and get back to work amid the pandemic.

Senator Marcos do Val (Podemos–ES) – a government ally – tried to minimize the accusations: “I think it is a very small percentage (12 doctors) for us to think that the exception is the rule. It is not possible that 5,000 doctors would stay quiet, complying with everything that is being said,” he said.

Jovem Pan: Prevent buscou ‘gabinete paralelo’ e Ministério da Economia por ‘pacto’ anti-lockdown, diz advogada
Senado Federal: Advogada aponta pacto da Prevent Senior com gabinete paralelo para evitar lockdown

2. Bolsonaro and Federal Supreme Court clash again

Following pro-Bolsonaro rallies on September 7th, tensions between the Federal Supreme Court and President Jair Bolsonaro were eased with the help of former president Michel Temer. However, the Judiciary and the Executive branches are now clashing once more.

The Federal Supreme Court is delaying interviewing André Mendonça for his appointment as a new Justice. Since his appointment was requested by the President, the delay is believed to indicate that tensions are still high.

Another issue causing problems is the Bolsonaro family’s request for the Federal Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit against Flávio Bolsonaro. The President’s son is under investigation for requesting that his employees return a portion of their salaries. The Court has not yet decided if Flávio Bolsonaro will have parliamentary privileges, as the crimes were committed when he was a state representative.

Next week, the Federal Supreme Court will decide whether President Jair Bolsonaro will have to speak in person in a case in which he is accused of forcing changes to the command of the Federal Police to protect his family and friends. The situation led to the resignation of former Justice Minister Sergio Moro.

Veja: Ministros do STF apontam vergonha inédita para Bolsonaro no caso Mendonça
Carta Capital: STF decide como Bolsonaro deverá depor no caso da interferência na PF
Valor Econômico: Análise do STF sobre como será depoimento de Bolsonaro em inquérito da PF deve começar semana que vem
O Globo: Defesa de Flávio Bolsonaro pede ao STF para extinguir processo que julgaria foro privilegiado

3. ANATEL releases 5G bidding rules

Following a series of delays and requests for edits from governmental institutions, ANATEL finally published the rules for the 5G bidding process. The public bidding will take place on November 4 and companies interested in participating must present their proposals by October 27.

The government expects that the bidding process will generate up to R$ 49.7 billion. 5G is expected to roll out in 2022, beginning in state capitals and Brasília.

Companies were offered four frequencies: 700 MHz, 2.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz. Data will travel up to 100 times faster than currently possible through these “avenues.”

To commercially exploit these frequencies, companies have to follow a series of rules, including making 4G internet available along some roads, installing fiber optic networks in the Amazon, and providing quality mobile technology to public schools, as requested by the Education Front in Congress and advocated for by the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU).

G1: Anatel publica edital do leilão do 5G; propostas devem ser apresentadas em 27 de outubro
Teletime: Anatel publica edital para o leilão de 5G
Poder 360: Anatel publica íntegra do edital do leilão do 5G

4. DEM and PSL merge in an attempt to provide a “third way”

Given the political polarization between president Jair Bolsonaro (no party) and former president Lula (PT), some political parties are trying to present themselves as a third option in the 2022 presidential election. According to DEM president ACM Neto, a merger between DEM and PSL will produce a stronger presidential candidate.

There are several people who are already considering a run. Journalist José Luiz Datena is a member of PSL and is already criticizing another possible candidate: former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta (DEM). According to Datena, Mandetta is not a viable candidate for even a “fourth way” in the presidential election.

Mandetta presented himself as strongly opposed to President Jair Bolsonaro, saying that if the party supports Bolsonaro, he will not run.

The parties will officially merge in October, according to ACM Neto. The new party will defend “a more efficient state that spends less on public employees and more on citizens.”

Important details of the merger have already been publicized, such as its name and number. The newly formed União Brasil will run under the number 44, retiring DEM’s 25 and PSL’s 17.

Poder 360: Prioridade na fusão do DEM e PSL é ter candidato a presidente, diz ACM Neto
UOL: Mandetta não tem potencial nem para ser a quarta via, diz Datena
UOL: Se novo partido entre DEM e PSL apoiar Bolsonaro, não estarei lá

5. Ministry of Health recommends booster shot for people over 60

The Ministry of Health officially announced on Wednesday (09/29) that a COVID-19 booster shot is now available for people over 60 years old. So far, only health professionals, people with comorbidities, and those over 70 years old can get the additional shot.

The third dose must be the of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with Janssen or AstraZeneca vaccines as alternatives. “Nine months after the vaccination roll out all over the world, we know that, over the months, vaccinated elderly people lose protection, regardless of what vaccine they got. So, after six months, the elderly are once again at risk of developing serious COVID and need this booster shot,” says virologist Raquel Stucchi.

Vaccination continues to advance in Brazil, with over 42% of people fully vaccinated with either two doses or a single-dose vaccine. This accounts for over 89 million people.

As vaccinations progress, 249 cities are requesting vaccine passports for people participating in events or entering certain locations. The two largest cities in Brazil, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are requesting proof of vaccination.

The Northern region has the largest number of cities requesting the passport (20.7%), followed by the Northeast (15.6%). The Southeast has the fewest cities requesting proof of vaccination, with only 6.6% of municipalities making the request.

Correio Braziliense: Ministério da Saúde libera 3ª dose para maiores de 60 anos; entenda as vantagens
Folha de S. Paulo: 249 cidades já exigem passaporte da vacina no Brasil; saiba como emitir o documento