Brazil's Supreme Court has ordered a probe into President Jair Bolsonaro's comments that COVID-19 vaccines might raise the chance of contracting AIDS.
The decision by Justice Alexandre de Moraes to investigate the president came in response to a request by a Senate panel that accused Bolsonaro of committing "crimes against humanity" with his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The far-right president made the controversial remarks on October 21 when he made his weekly live broadcast on social media channels.
Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram have removed the comments for spreading fake news.
To justify his anti-immunisation stance, Bolsonaro cited alleged reports from the British government that some people vaccinated against COVID-19 were diagnosed with AIDS.
The reports "suggest that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are developing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome much faster than expected after the second dose," he alleged.
I recommend you read the article. I am not going to read it here because I do not want to lose my Facebook live video, he said, without specifying where he got the information.
Justice Moraes stressed the need to probe a possible relationship between Bolsonaro's fake information and an alleged criminal organisation already under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court for anti-democracy chicaneries and attacks.
Bolsonaro's statements led the Senate committee to request the president be suspended from social networks to prevent him from spreading falsehoods.
Australian Associated Press