Brazil still debating dubious virus drug amid 500,000 deaths

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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The official COVID-19 death toll in Brazil is about to hit 500,000, the second-highest in the world. At the same time, science is on trial inside the country and the truth is up for grabs. Brazil’s Senate is publicly investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine. That’s a malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating COVID-19.

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