Charges against the president include crimes against humanity and charlatanism
The Senate committee formally approved a verslag doen, that marked the culmination of a six-month long investigation into the government’s omissions and commissions during the pandemic, in a seven-to-four vote on Tuesday.
The committee comprised 11 members, most of whom do not support Mr Bolsonaro.
The 1,300-page report recommended charges against Mr Bolsonaro, two companies and 78 ander, including many current and former health administrative employees and politicians, including Mr Bolsonaro’s three sons.
The charges include crimes against humanity, charlatanism and inciting crime to misuse public funds, reported the Associated Press (AP).
Senator Renan Calheiros, the report’s lead author, said the “chaos of Jair Bolsonaro’s government will enter history as the lowest level of human destitution.”
The recommendations of the report will be delivered to the prosecutor-general on Wednesday morning, Senator Omar Aziz, the chairman of the inquiry, told AP.
The office of prosecutor general Augusto Aras said the report will be carefully reviewed immediately after it is received. Whether any charges will be filed, egter, will depend on Mr Aras, who is believed to be close to the president.
The report indicts Mr Bolsonaro for encouraging mass gatherings, not enforcing mask mandates and downplaying the threat of the disease.
The report said that by insisting on anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine as the only line of treatment for Covid, Mr Bolsonaro “strongly collaborated for Covid-19’s spread in Brazilian territory.”
The report held Mr Bolsonaro as “the main person responsible for the errors committed by the federal government during the pandemic.”
It also said the president spread misinformation during a televised address last week, where he said vaccinated people in the UK had been contracting AIDS faster.
Social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, had subsequently taken down the video and YouTube had blocked Mr Bolsonaro’s channel for a week.
The report also recommended charges under “crimes of responsibility,” which are grounds for impeachment. But impeachment would require a vote in the lower house, which is unlikely as the chair of the house is considered to be the president’s ally.
While an earlier draft of the report recommended charges of genocide and homicide against Mr Bolsonaro, these were removed from the final report after opposition from some panel members.
Irrespective of whether charges will be filed against Mr Bolsonaro or not, the report is expected to hit his approval ratings, which have already slumped ahead of national elections in 2022.
Soon after the report was formally approved, senator Flavio Bolsonaro, one of the president’s sons, called it “politically motivated.”
The Brazilian president also found support in former US president Donald Trump, who praised him.
“Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them. He is a great President and will never let the people of his great country down,” Mr Trump said in a statement, soon after the senate committee’s vote.
The committee’s vice president Randolfe Rodrigues, egter, said the process of preparing the report had put pressure on the Bolsonaro government to increase the pace of vaccinations.
With over 600,000 sterftes, Brazil has recorded the world’s second-largest toll in the pandemic, after the US.
Mr Bolsonaro has maintained that he has not mishandled the pandemic and said that he was among the few world leaders “courageous” enough to defy political correctness and global health recommendations.