Facebook and YouTube Yank Video of President Bolsonaro Claiming COVID-19 Vaccine Causes AIDS

Lead Photo: Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images
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A live broadcast from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been pulled from Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for claiming that the Covid-19 vaccine causes AIDS. This occurred during a press conference on Sunday night where Bolsonaro said that people in the U.K. who have gotten two doses of the coronavirus vaccine are getting AIDS. 

Facebook cited that the press conference claimes violated their policy regarding COVID-19 vaccines. “Our policies don’t allow claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people,” Facebook said in a statement to the Associated Press

YouTube followed suit and took the video down. YouTube took down another of Bolsonaro’s videos over the summer. In that video, the Brazilian President recommended hydroxychloroquine to treat and fight against COVID-19. Health officials have said there is no scientific proof that these drugs are effective in treating the virus.

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS,  COVID-19 vaccines are approved by health officials as safe for most people, including those with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 

This press conference is the latest in false claims and mishandling of the ongoing pandemic. In fact, Bolsonaro’s leadership has been so heavily criticized that just last week Brazilian Senators have made the recommendation that the President be charged with “crimes against humanity,” down from a lesser charge of genocide and homicide. 

Since the start of the global pandemic, Brazil has seen more than 600,000 people die from the coronavirus, the second-highest for a nation behind the United States. President Bolsonaro has repeatedly and publicly denounced the use of vaccines despite health officials saying otherwise. He regularly dismissed social distancing or mask-wearing. And Bolsonaro himself remains unvaccinated despite contracting the virus last year.