August 13, 2021
1. COVID CPI interviews Ricardo Barros and director of Ivermectin manufacturer
On Thursday, the COVID parliamentary inquiry (CPI) interviewed former Health Minister and current leader of the federal government in Congress, Ricardo Barros. He was listed by the Miranda brothers as one of the people responsible for the corruption scheme surrounding the purchase of the Covaxin vaccine. Barros denied accusations and said President Jair Bolsonaro only asked if he was involved in the accusations and did not confirm his involvement. Barros deposition caused a series of arguments. Senators accused Barros of being nervous and not providing information. They decided to call Barros for another deposition.
On Wednesday, the COVID CPI interviewed Jailton Batista, executive director of pharmaceutical company Vitamedic, a manufacturer of Ivermectin. The drug was part of the list of preventive treatment medication recommended by President Jair Bolsonaro. During his deposition, Batista admitted he spent R$ 717,000 (USD $137,000) to promote the drug as a COVID-19 treatment, even though there are no studies showing its efficacy against the virus. Batista also confirmed the company profited from the promotion of Ivermectin.
G1: Após bate boca e suspensões, Aziz encerra reunião e diz que Barros voltará à CPI como convocado
Folha de S. Paulo: CPI da Covid ouve Ricardo Barros
O Globo: Fabricante de Ivermectina diz à CPI que gastou R$ 700 mil em propaganda de remédio ineficaz
2. After printed ballot bill defeat in Congress, Bolsonaro criticizes Electoral Court and Federal Supreme Court
President Jair Bolsonaro criticized both the Superior Electoral Court and the Federal Supreme Court after the printed ballot bill was rejected by the Chamber of Deputies. During an interview with Rádio Jovem Pan, Bolsonaro suggested the Federal Supreme Court acted to protect the Electoral Court and its president – Luís Roberto Barroso. On Wednesday, the president also said at an event that only the military was keeping the country united.
The printed ballot bill was voted on by the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday. To be approved, it needed a minimum of 308 votes. However, the bill – written by representative Bia Kicis (PSL-DF) – only received support from 229 representatives, while 218 voted against it and one representative abstained. A total of 448 representatives voted on the bill.
Folha de S. Paulo: Bolsonaro critica Fux e promete reduzir pressão sobre voto impresso
Folha de S. Paulo: Votação do voto impresso ‘valorizou’ a posição de Arthur Lira, afirma sociólogo
BBC: Como derrota do voto impresso pode enfraquecer governo, mas fortalecer Bolsonaro
G1: Em derrota para Bolsonaro, Câmara rejeita e arquiva PEC do voto impresso
3. Military parade in Brasília causes embarrassment and leads to protests
On Tuesday morning, President Jair Bolsonaro watched a military parade in the vicinity of the National Congress, in Brasília. The parade took place just hours before Congress was set to vote on the printed ballot bill, causing unease among authorities, politicians, and the public. According to the Brazilian Navy, the parade was to invite the president to take part in an Armed Forces training exercise and that it was planned before the vote had been scheduled.
The unprecedented nature of the event led members of Congress to view it as an attempt to intimidate and provoke representatives. Leaders of the opposition and COVID CPI president Omar Aziz spoke out on the matter. According to Aziz, “the president is putting on an act to show that he has control of the armed forces and can do whatever he wants with the country.” Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said “nothing and no one will intimidate Congress.”
O Globo: “Nada e nem ninguém haverá de intimidar o Congresso”, diz Pacheco sobre desfile militar
G1: Desfile militar em Brasília gera constrangimento e manifestações de parlamentares em defesa da democracia
Exame: Senadores da CPI criticam desfile militar e consideram ato antidemocrático
4. Delta variant spreads in Brazil and Goiás confirms first death due to the strain
The Delta variant of the coronavirus has been spreading in Brazil and cases have been registered in 14 states and in the Federal District. On Thursday, Goiás confirmed the first death from the strain in the city of Aparecida de Goiânia. According to the press, the country had at least 706 confirmed cases of the variant as of Thursday morning.
In Ceará the first community-acquired case of the Delta variant has been registered. The diagnosis was confirmed by the State Health Secretariat. The patient is a health agent from the city of Icó, 360km from state the capital Fortaleza. The patient said that he had not traveled outside the state recently and that he had not been in contact with anyone who had recently left the state or the country.
UOL: Goiás confirma a primeira morte por variante Delta do novo coronavírus
R7: Brasil tem 706 casos da nova variante Delta em 14 estados e no Distrito Federal
G1: Primeiro caso de transmissão comunitária da variante Delta no Ceará é identificado
5. ANVISA approves emergency use of new COVID medication
On Wednesday, the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) approved the emergency use of Regdanvimab for COVID-19 treatment. The medication, produced by Celltrion Healthcare, is indicated for treatment of COVID patients with mild symptoms, who do not need oxygen.
According to ANVISA, Regdanvimab “must be administered as soon as possible after a positive COVID result and within seven days after symptoms begin.” The goal of using the medication is to “prevent” more serious cases.
Patients with high risk for hospitalization due to the virus will be the ones given Regdanvimab. This includes the elderly, overweight people, adults 55 years old or above who have cardiovascular diseases, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney problems, liver disease or are immunosuppressed. Its use will be restricted to hospitals.