Green Party deputy, Agostinho Patrus, opened a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry to investigate members of the Ministry of Health in the state of Minas Gerais for jumping the line and taking the Covid-19 vaccines before the time assigned to them.
A Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (CPI) is an investigation, conducted by the legislative power, that protects the interests of the Brazilian population. It normally investigates politicians involved in corruption schemes. Patrus denounced the politicians and workers of the Ministry of Health that were vaccinated even though they are working from home and are below the age priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. The investigation will look into 500 people part of the Ministry of Health, including the health secretary, Carlos Eduardo Amaral.
The deputy showed indignation that public servants would take advantage of their position and take the turn of people from at-risk groups. “Jumping the vaccination line without any reasonable argument, while grandparents have not seen their grandchildren for over a year and people die in hospitals, is sufficient reason for the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais to investigate this absurd situation,” says Patrus. The state of Minas Gerais accounts for 928,402 cases, 19,605 deaths, and only 3.43% of the population has been vaccinated to date.
Patrus’ denouncement also started another investigation outside of Minas Gerais’ capital, Belo Horizonte. The investigations will be held in the cities of Alfenas, Barbacena, Diamantina, Ituiutaba, Leopoldina, Manhuaçu, Patos de Minas, Pirapora, São João Del Rei, Sete Lagoas, Teófilo Otoni, Uberlândia and Varginha. The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry will investigate 1,800 health workers who were vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state, but did not fit the criteria to be vaccinated.
According to the secretary of health, each city is responsible for its vaccination campaign. The vaccination of employees depends on the city where it is located. However, the State and the cities agreed that the vaccine would only be made available to public servants that have direct contact with the public.
The investigation officially started on March 11, and it needs to be finished in a maximum of 120 days. Minas Gerais is the only state under investigation, but many other public figures spoke up about other politicians and celebrities all over Brazil who jumped the line for a vaccination.
“For me, disrespecting the vaccination line and priority shows an incredible lack of sensibility from people who think they are bigger than others,” says Patrus. On his Twitter account, he shared with his followers that “regardless of being members of the state secretary of health, Legislative Assembly or any other public agency, all, and I mean ALL of them will be duly investigated.”
Brazil has been one of the worst countries impacted by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brazil has had over 290 thousand deaths and 12 million cases. The vaccination campaign has finally started, even though there are not enough doses for everyone, so it is extremely important that politicians like Patrus speak up about this absurdity.