August 27th, 2021
1. September 7th: Protests for and against Bolsonaro cause tension
Brazil celebrates its Independence Day on September 7th. This year the date could see a lot of tension as supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro are planning to hold rallies in favor of the government. Rural workers, truckers and members of the evangelical church are set to attend. The opposition had already scheduled protests against the President on the same day before the rallies were announced.
Both the financial heart of the country – São Paulo – and the country’s capital – Brasília – are on high alert due to the risk of the events turning violent.
In June, people in São Paulo who oppose the Bolsonaro administration had scheduled a protest at Avenida Paulista for September 7th, but the government gave Bolsonaro supporters authorization to hold a rally in the same location – despite the fact that they scheduled their event after the opposition. Jair Bolsonaro confirmed that he will attend the event in São Paulo. In Brasília, the armed forces – who are responsible for safeguarding Congress and the Ministries Esplanade – are on alert for possible conflicts.
Veja: O risco de embates entre esquerdistas e bolsonaristas no 7 de Setembro
Correio Brasiliense: 7 de Setembro: forças militares estão alertas em relação aos protestos
Folha de S. Paulo: Liderados por Malafaia, pastores convocam evangélicos para apoiar Bolsonaro
Estadão: Oposição transfere ato do 7 de Setembro para Anhangabaú e encerra disputa pela Paulista
2. Aras loses popularity, but remains head of Public Prosecutor’s Office
Last week, the Senate approved by 55 votes to 10 for Augusto Aras to continue to serve as the head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for another two years. He has held the job since September 2019 and will now continue until 2023. Even though Aras received a lot of support in the Senate, his popularity has decreased.
Before the Senate vote, Aras was interviewed by senators in the Commission of Constitution and Justice (CCJ). After six hours of questioning, 21 senators voted in favor of his reappointment while 6 voted against.
Aras maintains his stance that the prosecutor’s office should operate without “criminalizing politics”, which has caused concern in the Senate. Accusations of prevarication and claims that Aras has been lenient regarding Bolsonaro’s threats against democracy did not affect the Senate’s decision. Before the vote, Federal Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes shelved the investigation of prevarication against Aras.
El País: Senado releva blindagem de Aras a Bolsonaro e premia com mais dois anos na PGR
Jota: Moraes arquiva no STF notícia-crime contra Aras por prevaricação
Folha de S. Paulo: Sabatina de Aras é lembrete de como funcionam as coisas em Brasília
3. Government considers new benefit program, financial market expresses uncertainty
Earlier this month, the federal government announced a new benefit scheme – Auxílio Brasil – which combines a series of benefits, including Bolsa Família, under a single public policy program. However, the proposal is facing issues due to some demands under the Fiscal Responsibility Law, resulting in the financial market expressing uncertainty about the changes.
The government is already considering a “Plan B” to raise the funds necessary for Auxílio Brasil by removing tax subsidies. Initially, the plan was to have the benefit funded through the taxation of individuals’ profits and dividends along with other changes included in the Income Tax Reform. However, the reform is yet to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies.
The financial market did not receive the proposals warmly. According to Central Bank President Roberto Campos Neto, the market is sensitive about fiscal reform and this is why recent government proposals – such as the Precatory Bill and the Income Tax Reform – have been causing controversies.
Estadão: Governo já avalia ‘plano B’ para bancar ampliação do novo Bolsa Família
IG: Mercado reagiu mal à ideia de um Bolsa Família mais alto, diz presidente do BC
Jovem Pan: ‘Novo Bolsa Família’ começará a ser pago a partir de novembro, diz Bolsonaro
4. Ministry of Health recommends third dose following increase in deaths of fully vaccinated people
Following news that the number of deaths among elderly people who had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine has been increasing in Brazil, a study by Instituto do Coração (InCor) in partnership with the University of São Paulo’s School of Medicine has recommended a third vaccine dose. The study recommends that people over 55 years of age who have received two doses of CoronaVac be administered with a booster shot from a different vaccine.
Rio de Janeiro was the first state to show concerning data on the issue. According to the State Secretariat of Health, the number of deaths among vaccinated elderly people has doubled. Rio de Janeiro’s City Hall promised to begin the third round of vaccinations for the elderly as September 1st.
Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga confirmed that as of September 15th, people who are 70 years or older and people who have comorbidities that affect their immune systems will receive a third dose of the vaccine.
Folha de S. Paulo: Mortes de idosos vacinados com duas doses sobem 73% no Rio
O Globo: Prefeitura do Rio promete terceira dose para idosos de asilos a partir da próxima semana
Isto É Dinheiro: Terceira dose: vacinados com Coronavac a partir de 55 anos devem tomar, diz estudo
Estadão: 3ª dose da vacina contra covid será aplicada a partir de 15 de setembro, diz Ministério da Saúde
5. Brazil has not yet purchased vaccines for 2022
President Jair Bolsonaro made a series of comments about the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil, claiming that the country will return to normal as of December. He also said that he plans to make wearing masks “optional” and that he will not make vaccination mandatory. Whether a coincidence or not, Brazil has yet to purchase vaccines for 2022, even though there is already a plan to administer a booster shot to elderly people.
The President says he is optimistic about the end of the pandemic and the expectation for adults being fully vaccinated by the end of November. On the purchase of the vaccines, the Ministry of Health has been avoiding questions from journalists and state governors. According to consulting company Airfinity, many countries have made deals to receive vaccines in 2022, including the United States and the European Union.
The good news is that Brazil will be able to produce the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer and BioNTech have made a deal with pharmaceutical company Eurofarma to produce COVID-19 vaccines in the country in 2022.
Correio Brasiliense:Bolsonaro acredita que o país voltará à normalidade em dezembro
UOL: Bolsonaro diz que vacina não será obrigatória e que covid ‘veio para ficar’
O Globo: Atrasado nas negociações, Brasil ainda não fechou compra de vacinas para 2022
Veja: Pfizer faz acordo com Eurofarma para produzir vacina no Brasil
Leia mais sobre a pandemia no Brasil