Bolsonaro awards Scientific Merit award that honors the president himself


President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) awarded himself the title of Grand Master, the highest, of the National Order of Scientific Merit — an honor reserved for “national and foreign personalities who have distinguished themselves for their outstanding contributions to Science, to the Technology and Innovation”. The decree, published in the Diário Oficial da União on Thursday (4), also honors ministers Marcos Pontes (Science, Technology and Innovations), Carlos França (International Relations), Paulo Guedes (Economics) and Milton Ribeiro (Education).

The tribute, however, is regimental. Since 2002, when Fernando Henrique Cardoso and the then secretary of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency, Ronaldo Sardenberg, signed the decree that is still in force, the President of the Republic has been awarded the title of Grand Master, and the Minister of Science, with that of chancellor.

In addition to the authorities, the text grants the order to 32 professors and researchers from different areas of science. This is the first award since 2018, when former president Michel Temer signed a decree that entitles nearly 80 personalities.

Bolsonaro’s decoration comes shortly after Covid’s CPI in the Senate suggested his indictment for a crime against humanity, in addition to other charges, for government omissions in relation to the pandemic. The president also did not get vaccinated against Covid-19, routinely defends drugs with proven ineffectiveness for the treatment of the disease, and does not usually use a protective mask even in agglomerations.

All vaccines against Covid available in Brazil are safe and effective, and their use was authorized by Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency). They have been essential for reducing the number of deaths and hospitalizations due to the disease. Several studies have already proven that the use of a mask is a key part to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition to the pandemic, the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development) had this year the lowest budget in the last 21 years. In 2022, the budget of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation will be cut by 92% compared to this year.


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