Scientists and researchers, including three Nobel Prize winners, have gathered through a letter to defend the practice of science in Brazil and criticize the government’s performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The group says the region is under attack by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
The message “addressed to academics from different continents in solidarity with their colleagues in Brazil and the Brazilian people” was published on April 7th. (See full text below).
- With 12.3% of the population vaccinated against COVID, the rate of application of the first dose is declining in Brazil
By April 19, the document had already added more than 200 signatures. Among the signatories are three Nobel Prize winners: Michael Mayor (Nobel Prize in Physics 2019), Peter Ratcliffe (Nobel Prize in Medicine 2019) and Charles Rice (Nobel Prize in Medicine 2020).
The letter was also signed by Brazilian members of various universities and scientific institutes. In the text, the signatories assert that Brazilian science suffers from budget cuts, persecution and exploitation for electoral purposes.
The group also notes that the Bolsonaro government is responsible for the spread of false information related to Covid-19, which has exacerbated the epidemic situation in the country.
“If the Corona virus affects all countries of the world, then President Jair Bolsonaro should be held responsible for the catastrophic management of the crisis in Brazil, which not only helped increase the number of deaths, but also increased the disparities in the country,” the signatories emphasized.
The document was signed by members of universities in France, Canada, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, Myanmar, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. Sweden.
Read the entire message below:
An open letter in solidarity with the flag of Brazil
Tuesday April 6, 2021: Brazil recorded 4,195 deaths related to Covid-19. In total, more than 340,000 Brazilians have died since the start of the epidemic. If the coronavirus affects all countries of the world, then the spread of the health crisis in Brazil, cannot be separated from management The disastrous President Jair Bolsonaro, who must be condemned for his actions, which not only caused an explosion in the number of victims, but also increased inequality in the country.
On several occasions, the President of the Republic of Brazil has described Covid-19 as “a little cold,” which reduces the severity of the disease. He criticized preventive measures, such as physical isolation and the use of masks, and sparked countless popular gatherings. He himself defended the use of chloroquine, although scientists warned of the toxic effects of its use. The researchers who published scientific studies proving that the use of the drug increases the risk of death of Covid patients in Brazil were exposed. Bolsonaro also discouraged vaccination, even suggesting, for example, that people could become a “crocodile”. Between denial, spreading false information and attacks on science in the midst of a health crisis, Bolsonaro has changed health minister four times.
The flag in Brazil is under heavy criticism. On the one hand, budget cuts that hit research and threaten scientists’ work; On the other hand, the use of the flag for electoral purposes, as evidenced by the president’s statements. Nor is it possible to forget Bolsonaro’s attacks on the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe), in an alarming context of rising levels of deforestation in the Amazon region.
A denial of science, Bolsonaro affects not only the scientific community, but also the Brazilian community as a whole. The numbers of devastation since the beginning of the pandemic are increasing; According to Fiocruz’s data, nearly 92 new strains of Coronavirus have been identified, turning the country into a true factory of variants, and impacts on the environment, the traditional peoples of the Amazon region and the surrounding climate must be added to these statistics. the world.
In this context of the health crisis, worsening inequality and climate change, this type of behavior is unacceptable and the president must be held responsible for his actions. We are concerned about the worsening crisis in Brazil and attacks on science. In this open letter, we want to express our solidarity with our colleagues in Brazil, whose freedom is being threatened. We also express our solidarity with the Brazilian people, who have been affected on a daily basis by this devastating policy. “