Bolsonaro Apologizes for Spreading Misinformation about COVID-19 Vaccines
The former Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has issued an apology after falsely claiming that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines against Covid-19 contain graphene, a substance that he alleged accumulates in “the testicles and ovaries.”
A Mistake Acknowledged
Bolsonaro made this statement during an event of the Liberal Party (PL), alongside his former Minister of Science and Technology, Marcos Pontes, in the state of Sao Paulo. However, he now admits that it was a mistake on his part.
Regret and Apology
In a statement on his social media accounts, Bolsonaro expressed regret for his previous remarks and apologized for spreading misinformation. He clarified that he had mistakenly associated graphene oxide with the vaccines, despite the fact that this claim was debunked in August 2021.
A History of Denialism
Bolsonaro, who served as Brazil’s president from 2019 to 2022, has consistently downplayed the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. He has opposed isolation measures, rejected the use of masks, and cast doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines, even linking them to HIV-AIDS in a live broadcast.
Consequences and Trial
These apologies from Bolsonaro come just before the start of a trial in the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), where he faces charges of abusing political power through the dissemination of false news about the elections. If found guilty, he could face political disqualification.
A Grim COVID-19 Situation
Brazil has been severely impacted by the coronavirus, with over 703,399 deaths and nearly 40 million cases reported to date. The spread of misinformation and denialism has hindered the country’s efforts to combat the pandemic effectively.