February 9th, 2021.
A new poll is showing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro ahead of all other potential candidates for the 2022 presidential elections, despite a recent drop in his approval ratings. Businesswoman Luiza Trajano, owner of one of Brazil’s major store chains, has launched a movement which aims at vaccinating all Brazilians against the novel coronavirus by September. Facebook has announced it will begin to delete all posts containing false claims regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, following its previous decision of removing posts containing fake news about the disease. The new strain of the novel coronavirus recently discovered in South Africa has obtained conflicting results from two of the main immunizers currently available; while studies have indicated that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has a reduced efficacy rate against it, the Pfizer/BioNTech jab has shown itself capable of neutralizing it just as well as the “original” strain of the virus. Finally, after six months detained in China with no official word from the Chinese government, Australian journalist Cheng Lei has been officially charged by the Asian country’s authorities with “illegally supplying state secrets overseas”.
Take a look at our highlights.
Despite falling approval ratings, Bolsonaro leads 2022 presidential race
A poll released yesterday by XP/Ipespe shows Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro leading the 2022 presidential race, despite a slight drop in his approval ratings. The survey showed that Bolsonaro has 28 percent of voting intentions, the same number he obtained in a January poll. The current mandatary is followed by ex-judge Sergio Moro (12%), former Workers’ Party presidential candidate Fernando Haddad (12%), former PDT presidential candidate Ciro Gomes (11%), and TV host Luciano Huck (7%). In a hypothetical second-round dispute, Bolsonaro would lose to the former Operation Car Wash judge, with 32 percent of voting intentions against Moro’s 36%, but would still be successful against all other candidates: 39 to 37% against Ciro Gomes, 37 to 33% against Luciano Huck, 37 to 30% against São Paulo governor João Doria, and 41 to 36% against Haddad.
Businesswoman launches movement to vaccinate all Brazilians by September
Businesswoman Luiza Trajano, owner of retail chain Magazine Luiza, launched an entrepreneurial movement called Unidos Pela Vacina (“United for the Vaccine”), aiming at increasing the speed at which Brazil’s population will be vaccinated against COVID-19. The goal is to have all Brazilians immunized against the novel coronavirus by September this year, in order to reactivate the country’s economy. Unlike previous similar movements by private company owners which aimed at vaccinating exclusively their workers, Trajano wants to focus on the public health system, respecting the priority groups established by the Ministry of Health, and helping Brazil’s Unified Health System in order to speed up the purchase, transportation, distribution and approval of immunizing agents by the public health authorities.
Facebook to remove posts with false vaccine claims
According to the guidelines the company has adopted since the beginning of the pandemic, social media giant Facebook issued a statement on Monday stating it will delete all posts containing claims regarding vaccines considered to be false or erroneous, such as, for instance, those stating that it is safer to contract COVID-19 than to get the vaccines against the disease. The information was published today by The New York Times, and comes a little over one month after the company stated it would remove all posts containing claims which have been refuted by the World Health Organization or other government agencies regarding the disease. Any posts, pages or groups containing such information will be summarily deleted from the platform.
Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs show different results against South Africa strain
Researchers in the United Kingdom and South Africa have released preliminary information of a study which assessed the action of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine against the new strain of the novel coronavirus recently found in the African country. In the results, the immunizer has shown “substantially reduced” efficacy rates when compared to its effects against the “original” strain, regarding light and moderate cases of the disease. Meanwhile, Nature Medicine magazine published yesterday a study showing that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has proven itself capable of neutralizing all strains of the novel coronavirus so far, including the UK and South Africa ones.
After six months detained in China, Australian journalist is formally indicted
After spending nearly six months under arrest in China without any official explanation, Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who works as a newscaster for Chinese state-owned television network CGTN, was formally indicted on February 5th by Communist government authorities on charges of “illegally supplying state secrets overseas”. The information has been released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, where the journalist’s family lives. Cheng Lei, who posted critical comments against Chinese president Xi Jinping on her social media, is the second Australian public figure detained in China after relations between both countries deteriorated; writer Yang Hengjun was arrested in 2019 on charges of espionage.