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One of the biggest and most controversial supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro and the fallacious early treatment against covid-19 will be heard on Wednesday by the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the Pandemic. Businessman Luciano Hang, owner of the Havan chain of stores, will testify to the senators under suspicion of being part of the so-called parallel cabinet, a group formed by doctors and businessmen who would have advised the president on how to handle the health crisis outside of what science said and outside the structure of the Ministry of Health. In a statement, he denied being part of “any cabinet”. In addition, the CPI intends to deepen the investigation into the ties between Hang, the Government and the private health operator Prevent Senior, all defenders of the so-called covid kit — without any effectiveness against the new coronavirus.
The hearing of Hang, billionaire with a fortune estimated at 15 billion reais by the magazine forbes, occurs days after the scandal of fraudulent studies conducted in hospitals of the Prevent Senior network involving the covid kit surfaced in TV reports Globe. In addition to using patients as guinea pigs for the so-called early treatment (without any scientific evidence), there is evidence that some death certificates were tampered with by doctors to omit the real cause of death — covid-19. The president himself and his children celebrated on social networks the results obtained by the study, which they pointed out as a successful case of the use of chloroquine and other drugs to fight the disease.
These frauds in death certificates would have been done with the objective of offering more favorable numbers for the ineffective therapy advocated by Planalto, by Hang and by the parallel cabinet. Some members of the CPI suspect that the Ministry of Health would have encouraged and adopted protocols such as Prevent Senior with the aim of spreading the use of ineffective treatments. This methodology would have been taken by Health officials to Manaus, for example, which in March this year experienced one of the worst sanitary collapses recorded in the country during the pandemic.
The thread that once wrapped Hang in this Prevent Senior plot was untied due to a personal loss. His mother, Regina Modesti Hang, 82, died in February this year after being admitted with covid-19 in the ICU of the Sancta Maggiore hospital, run by the health operator. She would be one of the patients whose death certificate was faked, according to a dossier delivered to the CPI prepared by 15 doctors who worked at the company. In the document, obtained by the newspaper The state of Sao Paulo, the cause of death is described as “multiple organ dysfunction, refractory distributive shock, acute chronic renal failure, bacterial pneumonia, metabolic syndrome, previous ischemic stroke”. Not a word about the covid-19 that led to his hospitalization.
At the time, the businessman recorded a video in which he regretted not having offered his mother preventive treatment, which was not effective against covid-19: “I am demanding that I could have saved my mother, all of a sudden, if I had done the preventive, couldn’t we have done that? And now I’m wondering, what if I had, wouldn’t she be alive? Reflects. Thanks”. Hang also reaffirmed that he had “complete confidence” in the care his mother received at Prevent Senior’s hospital.
The president of the CPI, senator Omar Aziz (PSD-AM), last week criticized Hang’s performance during the pandemic and his relationship with Prevent Senior, insinuating that the businessman took his mother to a company hospital just to please Bolsonaro. “[O Hang] with the conditions he has, he could even send his mother to the moon, and he wouldn’t take her to Prevent Senior because there are other hospitals with more structure, including for comorbidities he said she had”. But before that, Hang’s actions to promote early treatment had already been criticized by several members of the Commission, and there is an expectation that Wednesday’s session will be marked by heated debates between Hang and the government troop and the rapporteur Renan Calheiros (MDB-AL) and Aziz.
Living up to his swashbuckling style, Hang spiced up his participation in the CPI on Monday by posting a video in which he appears with one arm in handcuffs: “I’m going to the CPI with an open heart. Kindness begets kindness, respect begets respect (…) If by chance they [senadores] don’t accept what I’m going to say, I’ve already bought [a algema]. So as not to spend money on handcuffs, I’ve already bought a handcuff, I’m going to hand over a key to each senator. And arrest me,” he says. The answer came hours later. Senator Calheiros wrote on his social networks that Hang “rehearses pastelão to stage at the CPI. It’s no use; there was only one Joaquin Phoenix in the role of the Joker and there is no way to imitate him. He will have to appear on Wednesday, according to the rules of the Senate, and answer for the crimes he is accused of”.
The most recent indictment against Hang surfaced on September 25th. CPI senators obtained documents that suggest that Hang financed the pocket blogger Allan dos Santos, responsible for disseminating false news, with the intermediation of federal deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP). The information was released first hand on TV Globe, and all denied the charges. Hang and Santos are targets of the Fake News inquiry that is going through the Supreme Court. The blogger is still being investigated in the process that investigates the incitement and financing of undemocratic acts. For the vice president of the CPI, senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), “we concluded and identified (…) the existence of a real criminal organization of fake news that played a decisive role in the worsening of the pandemic”.
But the entrepreneur’s problems with justice involving financing of fake news did not start now. A first-time scholarship holder, he is the target of a lawsuit that is running at the Superior Electoral Court for having irregularly supported the shooting of messages on WhatsApp and posting on social networks with false content during the 2018 presidential campaign. objective to benefit Bolsonaro, and is pointed out by specialists as one of the factors that led the current president to the Planalto. Hang’s defense claims that he “has nothing to hide” and that “he never financed shooting or promoted messages on WhatsApp during the election campaign.” In another case, from 2019, the businessman was sentenced by the TSE to pay a fine of 2,000 reais for asking his Havan employees for votes in Bolsonaro, which was considered irregular electoral propaganda.
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