Facebook removes Bolsonaro video linking Covid shots to AIDS

Brasília (AFP) – Facebook has removed a video in which Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro warned of a supposed link between Covid-19 vaccines and AIDS.


The far-right leader's latest run-in with the social network he relies on to rally his base came after he cited purported "official reports" from the British government -- since debunked -- in his weekly live address on Facebook last Thursday.

He claimed the reports "suggest that people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are developing Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome much faster than expected."

"I recommend you read the article," he added, without saying where the information came from.

"I'm not going to read it here, because I don't want to lose my Facebook live video."

Facebook, which took down the comments late Sunday or early Monday, has removed Bolsonaro posts in the past.

Earlier, it found he spread misinformation or incited people to violate social distancing policies. But this is the first time it has taken down one of his weekly live addresses, a cornerstone of his communications.

The British government denied any such "reports" in response to an AFP fact-checking team.

The Brazilian Society of Infectious Disease Specialists said in a statement there was no evidence of any relationship between Covid-19 vaccines and AIDS.

Bolsonaro's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The president has said he does not plan to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and joked in the past the vaccine could "turn you into an alligator."