While Bolsonaro Is in Free Fall, Lula Installs His Own Shadow Cabinet in Brasília

The Brazilian Senatorial Committee investigating President Jair Bolsonaro’s management of the COVID-19 crisis describes the head of state as “insane” and in “denial” of reality.

“The CPI (Parliamentary Investigations Commission) revealed the insane acts of the president and an insensitive and cruel government that understood the pandemic as a flu (…) Denialism is proven there,” said Senator Simone Tebet. The CPI report will be released at the end of October with a detailed description of all the evidence garnered.

“It is proven that in the first phase of the pandemic, the government’s strategy was to bet on herd immunity from contagion,” added Tebet, from the conservative Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB).

The head of the National Health Agency, Paulo Rebello, was investigated. Senator Humberto Costa, from former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s leftist Workers’ Party (PT), recalled that Rebello had been appointed by Bolsonaro “addressing political issues” rather than the official’s technical capacity.

Costa considered Rebello’s attitude in the scandal involving the prepaid health care provider Prevent Senior “regrettable,” as doctors were instructed to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 patients despite the World Health Organization’s stance on the substance.

Senator Otto Alencar, from the Social Democratic Party (PSD), believed Rebello’s “omissions” were serious because the National Health Agency must be governed only by technical criteria.

Meanwhile, CPI Rapporteur Senator Renan Calheiros pointed out that the Prevent Senior case will be included in the final report. Days ago Calheiros had defined Prevent Senior’s policy as “genocidal”, which would have been carried out in “complicity” with the government by spreading the false idea that hydroxychloroquine is a drug suitable for people with coronavirus.

Calheiros had announced that President Bolsonaro will be indicted in the document in which there may be another 50 people involved and the newspaper O Globo added that among the other possible defendants were National Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro and Rio de Janeiro councilman Carlos Bolsonaro, both sons of the head of state, who are both expected to be added to the CPI’s “fake news chapter.”

Meanwhile, as the Bolsonaro administration seems to be heading for what may turn out to be an abrupt ending through impeachment, Lula has closed a hotel floor and set up a shadow cabinet leading up to the 2022 presidential elections.

In his anti-Bolsonaro cabinet, the former president and leading candidate to the presidential elections of next year, has a sole objective: gather all those who might prevent Bolsonaro from getting a second mandate as president.

In his new headquarters, Lula has been meeting with deputies, senators and other politicians to join forces against Bolsonaro, it was reported. He has already received representatives of the political parties PSB, PCdoB and PSol as well as the president of PSD, Gilberto Kassab from São Paulo state.

Lula’s cabinet works in a Brasília hotel, four kilometers away from the National Congress and the Planalto Palace.

The hotel elevators do not stop at Lula’s floor, except for people with the right passkey card.

The former head of state is due to give a press conference on October 8, it was also reported.




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