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Brazilian court investigating Bolsonaro comments linking COVID-19 vaccines, AIDS

Brazilian court investigating Bolsonaro comments linking COVID-19 vaccines, AIDS
The Brazilian Supreme Court announced it has ordered an inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro's comments that falsely claimed a link between the COVID-19 vaccination and an increased risk of contracting AIDS. File Photo by Joedson Alves/EPA-EFE

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The Brazilian Supreme Court announced it has ordered an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro's false claims that receiving a COVID-19 vaccination can increase the risk of contracting AIDS.

The Supreme Court announced on Twitter that Justice Alexandre de Moraes opened an inquiry into the statements made by Bolsonaro during a live video that was broadcast on multiple social media platforms in October.

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The video, which led to Bolsonaro being temporarily suspended from Facebook and YouTube, featured the president saying that reports "suggest that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are developing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome much faster than expected."

The claim was widely rejected by scientists and medical experts.

The Supreme Court said the inquiry was launched after a request from a parliamentary commission investigating the Bolsonaro administration's response to the pandemic.

The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS said COVID-19 vaccines approved by health regulators are safe for those living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Brazil has the second-highest death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic, behind the United States. Bolsonaro is the only president of a G20 nation who claims to have not received a COVID-19 vaccination.

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