Brazil police search Bolsonaro's home in probe of falsified Covid-19 data

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© Adriano Machado, Reuters

Police in Brazil searched ex-president Jair Bolsonaro's home Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations of falsifying Covid-19 vaccination certificates, media reports said.

The far-right ex-president (2019-2022), who faced widespread criticism for his unorthodox handling of the pandemic, has repeatedly said he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Federal police confirmed they were investigating "the insertion of falsified Covid-19 vaccination data" into the health ministry's electronic vaccination records system, but did not mention Bolsonaro by name.

"The falsified entries, which occurred between November 2021 and December 2022, resulted in the alteration of the true Covid-19 vaccination status of the individuals in question," police said in a statement.

"As a result, the individuals were able to emit vaccination certificates and use them to evade health restrictions put in place by authorities in Brazil and the United States."

Bolsonaro left Brazil for the United States in December, after losing his re-election bid to veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva -- a bitterly divisive election fought largely over the far-right incumbent's widely criticized management of Covid-19, which has claimed more than 700,000 lives in Brazil.

The US requires international air travelers to present proof of vaccination against Covid-19, a requirement the White House announced Monday would end on May 11.

An AFP photographer said federal police could be seen outside Bolsonaro's home in Brasilia.

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