Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been one of the world’s most prominent opponents of restrictions aimed at curbing the disease, whose effects he has often downplayed. He has encouraged use of medications that scientists say are worthless.

AP | | Posted by Harshit Sabarwal, Sao Paulo

UPDATED ON APR 28, 2021 04:47 PM IST

Brazil’s Senate on Tuesday began an inquiry into the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic, a probe that analysts say could jeopardise the reelection of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has been one of the world’s most prominent opponents of restrictions aimed at curbing the disease, whose effects he has often downplayed. He has encouraged use of medications that scientists say are worthless. Critics say his policies, along with a bungled vaccine campaign, have contributed to the world’s second-highest death toll from the coronavirus.

While the investigation isn’t formally aimed at criminal allegations, it potentially could lead to charges. It’s also likely to provide a drumbeat of embarrassing accusations ahead of the 2022 presidential election.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and instead blames governors and mayors, saying their restrictions on activity have caused more problems than the coronavirus.

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