Cited in the Covid’s CPI as the focus of alleged wrongdoing in the purchase of the Indian vaccine Covaxin, Ricardo Barros (PP-PR) spent more than 20 years as a federal MP and was already a member of the Allied Base of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and Michel Fear before Support President Jair Bolsonaro.
An important figure in the so-called Centrão, as the informal bloc is called in the Chamber, which brings together parties without a clear ideological line, but with conservative values, he was the leader or vice president of the National Congress of nearly all presidents elected after the military dictatorship.
On Friday (25) Ricardo Barros, who is currently at the helm of Bolsonaro’s government in the National Congress, became one of the most mentioned names in the corridors of Planalto and the Senate.
In testimony to Covid’s CPI, Representative Luis Miranda (DEM-DF) said Barros was the MP that Bolsonaro would have referred when he learned of suspected corruption in the contract to purchase the Indian vaccine, Covaxin.
Miranda said he said he and his brother, servant Ricardo Luis Miranda, met with Bolsonaro on March 20 to report allegations of irregularities in the import of the vaccine.
According to him, the president stated that he knew that a deputy from the government base was involved in the case and that he would raise the complaint to the general delegate of the Federal Police, which was not done. Only on Friday (26) Bolsonaro said that the Palestinian police would open an investigation into the case.
Asked at Covid’s CPI who this deputy would be, Miranda said: “President Ricardo Barros has spoken.”
The statement made a powerful impact among senior members of the commission, which told it should formally present to the Special Tribunal for Trade (STF) evidence that President Bolsonaro had committed a wrongdoing – when a public servant improperly slows down or fails to do official business, or against An express provision in law, to satisfy a personal interest or feeling.”
In a note posted on social networks, Ricardo Barros stated that he was not involved in “any negotiations regarding the purchase of Covaxin vaccines”.
The congressman said, “I am not said congressman. The investigation will prove it. I have nothing to do with these facts,” said the congressman.
But what was Ricardo Barros’ path to leading the Bolsonaro government in Congress?
Support Lula, Dilma, Impeachment, Temer and Bolsonaro …
From 1999 to 2002, Ricardo Barros was Vice-President of the Council of Government of Fernando Enrique Cardoso and Head of Government in the National Congress throughout 2002. The PP, Barros’ Party, supported Jose Serra (PSDB-SP), the candidate of the FHC presidential election.
But when Lula won at the ballot box, the legend quickly joined the base of the Labor government, in 2003. During the period when Lula was almost in the presidency with the support of the People’s Party, Ricardo Barros held leadership positions in the party. – Was the Vice President – the leader of the People’s Party in the Chamber and the Deputy Chairman of the National Party. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister in Congress in 2007.
As a member of the People’s Party, Barros was also part of Dilma Rousseff’s government base, but was later one of the speakers in creating the Centrão and supporting the president’s trial.
With Michel Temer coming to power, Ricardo Barros was promoted to the position of Minister of Health, heading the portfolio from 2016 to 2018.
Defend the cuts not SUS
As Minister of Health, Ricardo Barros has tried to promote cuts in the portfolio and cut back on the Single Health System (SUS).
At various times, he advocated reducing SUS expenditures, arguing that the country would soon no longer be able to afford the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as universal access to health.
Barros said in May 2016 in an interview with Folha from Sao Paulo.
On other occasions, he has taken a stand in favor of creating “popular” health plans, which are cheaper because they provide services below the minimum coverage provided by the National Supplemental Health Agency (ANS).
This, he said, would be a way to ease public order.
He stated at the time that “80% of imaging scans had normal results” and that this represented “a waste that needs to be controlled”.
“We have to control the demand that doctors are asking for these tests and start evaluating how they use their ability to order from SUS. If a doctor orders too many tests that give normal results, he is not behaving properly with the system,” said the then Minister of Health.
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