Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes today declared that “the Chinese invented Wuhan pneumonia” and that Brazil’s vaccine to prevent the 2019 coronavirus (CCPV) disease is less effective than the vaccine from the U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
The Brazilian Minister of Economy Gerdes said it was the Chinese who invented Wuhan pneumonia. (Schematic diagram / reprinted from Xinhua)
The government’s response to the pandemic of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19, Wuhan pneumonia) has caused nearly 400,000 deaths in Brazil, and the Senate today established a Commission of Inquiry into the truth of Wuhan pneumonia to investigate whether there was maladministration and dereliction of duty in the government’s actions under the epidemic.
Brazil began a national vaccination campaign on January 17, and about 80% of the vaccine was administered with the Coronavac vaccine developed by Sinovac in collaboration with the Instituto Butantan of the São Paulo State Health Department, and Gedes was also vaccinated with Coronavac. The other 20% use the AZ vaccine developed in collaboration with Oxford/Astabilis.
President Jair Bolsonaro and allies have expressed doubts about the efficacy of Coronavac; Bolsonaro has even vetoed the Ministry of Health’s plan to purchase it.
Bolsonaro had said in October 2020, “We won’t buy the Chinese vaccine, that’s my decision, I don’t believe it will provide enough safety to the Brazilian people, that’s what we think.” After that, with no other vaccine options available, Posonaro had to cave in.
Geddes declared today at the health committee meeting that “the Chinese invented Wuhan pneumonia, their vaccine is not as effective as the Americans, who have invested 100 years in research, and the Pfizer vaccine is better than the others.”
The Pfizer vaccine has not yet been used in Brazil, and last August, the Brazilian government did not accept Pfizer’s offer to deliver 70 million doses by December before announcing in March this year that it would purchase 100 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, to be delivered in two installments until September.
According to Brazilian news site G1, Gedes was unaware that the committee meeting was being broadcast live on social media, and the Ministry of Health took the video off its website immediately after the meeting.
In Brazil, 395,324 people have died from Wuhan pneumonia and 14,446,541 have been diagnosed. Since January 17, 30,259,475 people, or 14.29% of the population, have received the first dose of the vaccine, and 13,989,783 people, or 6.61% of the population, have received the second dose.