New Development in Mystery Over Bolsonaro's Vax Status

Brazilian authorities say anti-vax former president's records showing he'd been vaxxed were falsified
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2024 8:29 AM CST
Brazil Authorities: Bolsonaro's Vax Records Were Doctored
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to the press in Brasilia, Brazil, on Oct. 18.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Jair Bolsonaro has long minimized COVID-19, as well as health and safety measures taken against the virus, including vaccination. Yet confusingly, records show that the former Brazilian president received a COVID shot more than two years ago, apparently to help him circumvent travel restrictions and other rules that required he be vaccinated. Now, a probe by the nation's comptroller general's office, or CGU, into Bolsonaro's vaccination status has revealed that the 68-year-old's inoculation records were doctored, reports Reuters.

Bolsonaro was marked as having received a dose of the COVID vaccine in July 2021, at a health clinic in Sao Paulo. But there were a few issues with that record, according to the CGU's finds revealed Thursday. First, the agency's investigation found that the then-president had left for Brasilia the day before he supposedly got the shot in Sao Paulo, and Brasilia was where he stayed for the next three days. The vaccine batch listed in Bolsonaro's records was also being used at that time for research purposes only and wasn't being doled out to the public, the CGU says, per Deutsche Welle. Finally, a nurse who was logged as having administered the vaccine to Bolsonaro has not only refuted that she did so—she apparently never worked in the unit of the clinic that does vaccinations.

"The conclusion was that it was fraud," the CGU notes of Bolsonaro's paperwork, though it says it doesn't think it pays to keep the case open to find out who falsified his records, due to "lack of sufficient evidence," as well as the fact that multiple employees would've had access to his electronic records. Bolsonaro has long denied that he tampered with the records, or that he knew who did. Federal police, however, last year said they'd unearthed a plot involving a Bolsonaro staffer who networked to obtain fraudulent vaccinations for Brazil's leader and others. Authorities say Bolsonaro was "fully aware" that his own vax records were fake. Bolsonaro himself has said he hasn't been vaccinated, per Barron's. (More Jair Bolsonaro stories.)

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