Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many countries have seen corruption scandals erupt around their management and especially the organization of the vaccination campaign.
In Brazil, suspicious bills
In Brazil, the prosecution opened, on Friday, an investigation against President Jair Bolsonaro, who is accused of failing to report a corruption attempt to purchase vaccines. In March, Luis Ricardo Miranda, head of the medical imports department at the Brazilian Ministry of Health, saw a suspicious $45 million bill arriving at his office for 3 million doses of the Covaxin vaccine from India’s Bharat Biotech laboratory. However, no vaccine has been delivered and Covaxin has not received approval from health authorities.
Suspecting possible corruption by a member of the government, he warned the president, who promised to hand the case over to the federal police, which he never did. If the contract has since been rescinded, Jair Bolsonaro is still suspected of dodging.
In Germany, there are commissions for buying masks
In March 2021, two deputies from the CDU (Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party) and the CSU were suspended: they were suspected of having commissions to act as intermediaries between mask manufacturers and public authorities at the start of the pandemic, as the country desperately sought to equip itself. Between them, it would have touched almost a million euros.
Nicholas Lobel (CDU) and George Neslin (CSU) were forced to resign their seats as Representatives.
In Malawi, trips on crisis funds
In April 2021, 14 people were arrested in Malawi, including Labor Minister Ken Kanudo, on suspicion of using money earmarked to fight Covid-19 to pay for a trip abroad.
Although he repaid the 640 euros obtained from the budget of about 6.7 million euros, the Minister of Labor was sacked by President Lazarus Chakwira, who himself exposed the case and intends to show himself tough in the fight against corruption.
In South Africa, contracts are not very clear
Nearly 820 million euros in contracts related to the fight against Covid-19 are currently the subject of corruption investigations in South Africa. One investigation targeted two relatives of the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, whom President Cyril Ramaphosa had given a “special leave of absence” on 8 June.
The cases of 63 officials were referred to the Public Prosecution Office, and 87 companies were blacklisted, preventing them from winning public contracts.
In Peru, vaccination took place before the official date
In February 2021, Peru was rocked by the “Vagonaget” scandal: it was revealed that 487 people had been vaccinated … before the official start of the vaccination campaign on the 9th of the month, which was to prioritize health workers.
Former President Martin Vizcarra was significantly vaccinated in October 2020 at his request, according to the doctor who led the clinical trial of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm in Peru — which did not prevent him from testing positive in April. This scandal led to the resignation of the Ministers of Health and Foreign Affairs.
In Argentina, “VIP Vaccines”
In Argentina, the “VIP vaccines” scandal broke out in February 2021. The Minister of Health, Genis Gonzalez Garcia, offered his friends to be vaccinated in the ministry without setting an appointment at the hospital. The authorities distributed a list of seventy people who received their injections when they did not fall into the priority categories.
Among them are the Minister of Economy, former President Eduardo Duhalde, his wife and their children. The announcement of the resignation of the Minister of Health led to the announcement.
In Ecuador, small vaccinations with friends
In Ecuador, the Minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, is under investigation, admitted that members of his family have been given privileges to receive the vaccine (including his 87-year-old mother), even as receiving the country’s first 42,000 doses that were intended for medical staff and those in role the elderly. He resigned in February 2021.
Academics, politicians, journalists, and sports leaders were also able to get vaccinated when they weren’t a priority.
Elsewhere, other politicians have been forced to resign because they set a bad example in the midst of the pandemic. Thus, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, married and father of a family, was filmed by a surveillance camera in June 2021 lullingly accepting an adviser in his office, in defiance of all gestures of barrier. Or New Zealand Health Minister David Clark who left for the sea with his family in April 2020, when the country was under strict containment…