A Brazilian government official who reportedly asked for a US $ 1 “surcharge” per vaccine dose has left his post, the Ministry of Health announced through a statement Tuesday.
The document specified that Logistics Director Roberto Dias had turned in his resignation.
According to reports published by the Folha de Sao Paulo, Dias had asked the representative of Davati Medical Supply in Brazil, Luiz Paulo Dominguetti, for a bribe of US$ 1 per dose of vaccine for the company to sign a contract with the ministry. Dominguetti is reportedly negotiating the sale of 400 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine.
On the other hand, Dias told GloboNews that he was the target of retaliation for having asked Dominguetti to prove that he represented AstraZeneca, which, according to the director, never happened. Dias also stated that he will release a note on the matter.
“The Ministry of Health informs that the resignation of Roberto Dias from the position of Director of Logistics (…) will be published in the Official Gazette of the Union this Wednesday (30). The decision was taken this Tuesday morning (29),” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the CPI parliamentary committee investigating President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic has announced it will summon Dominguetti.
According to AstraZeneca, they have no intermediaries in Brazil and their vaccine is available through agreements signed with governments and multilateral organizations, such as the international consortium Covax Facility. The company added that it does not provide vaccines for the private market or even to city councils and state governments.
The company also stated that it submitted a proposal to the federal government which was never formally replied to, so it “never progressed to a contract.”
The US-based Davati reported having been approached by one of its representatives in Brazil to help find vaccines against Covid for the country. According to Dominguetti, Dias made his request during a dinner on February 25, at a restaurant in a shopping mall in Brasilia, Folha said, a proposal which was immediately turned down, according to the newspaper.
According to Folha, Dias was appointed at the suggestion of Deputy Ricardo Barros (PP-PR), Minister of Health in the Michel Temer government (2016-2018), and of current President Jair Bolsonaro to serve under then Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta (DEM-MS).
Barros has denied on social media any involvement in Dias' appointment. In relation to Folha's story, I reiterate that Roberto Ferreira Dias was appointed to the Ministry of Health at the beginning of the current presidential term, in 2019, when it was not aligned with the government. So, I repeat, it's not my nomination. I am totally unaware of Davati's denunciation, he wrote.
Ricardo Barros became a target of Covid's CPI, in the Senate. Last week, in testimony to the commission, Deputy Luis Miranda (DEM-DF) and his brother, Luis Ricardo Miranda, a civil servant at the Ministry of Health, said they had reported to Bolsonaro suspected irregularities involving negotiations for the purchase of Covaxin, a covid-19 vaccine produced in India.
Covid's CPI expects to vote on this Wednesday (30) a request to summon Ricardo Barros, so that he can explain his suspicions about the Covaxin case.