President Lula returns medals withdrawn by Jair Bolsonaro | News
The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, handed over the medals of the National Order of Scientific Merit to Brazilian experts, which had been revoked by former president Jair Bolsonaro.
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The health doctor Adele Benzaken and the infectologist Marcus Vinícius Lacerda received the medals of the National Order of Scientific Merit from the hands of the Brazilian head of state.
For his part, Lula da Silva said that “we are gathered here today to say, loud and clear: no more obscurantism. Enough of denial. No more throwing scientists into the bonfires, no longer those of the Middle Ages, but those that are lit on the Internet and in the radical groups of our society with lies and hate speech.
Likewise, the Brazilian dignitary pointed out that "Brazil no longer deserves its institutions to be degraded", and reported that the National Council of Science and Technology (CCT), extinguished during Bolsonaro's term, is resuming.
Adele Benzaken, who was the director of the HIV/AIDS Department of the Ministry of Health, was fired in the first year of the Jair Bolsonaro administration in 2019, when she published a material on the prevention of diseases in trans men.
For his part, Marcus Vinícius Lacerda signed a study that verified the ineffectiveness of chloroquine in the treatment against Covid-19, in 2020.
However, both researchers were excluded from the tribute that would be made to personalities in 2021, when their names were published on a list, Bolsonaro determined the exclusion of both.
In that ceremony, former President Bolsonaro presented himself and former Economy Minister Paulo Guedes with decorations that recognized Brazilian and foreign personalities for their contributions to the development of science in Brazil.
Other scientists who had been recognized rejected the award as a show of solidarity and protest against the government management of the Bolsonaro right.
During the ceremony that reversed Bolsonaro's decision, President Lula da Silva stated that the symbolism of the event goes beyond a formal act.
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