Auditor Alexandre Figueiredo Costa Silva, from the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), was suspended from the functions of the Court for 45 days, without the right to a salary. The decision was taken by the court commission set up to study a punishment for him. The server is the author of an unofficial survey that disputed the number of deaths by covid-19 in 2020 and pointed out, without technical support, that the number could be 50% lower than officially reported.
“The fact had the potential to provoke an institutional crisis between the Court and the Executive Power, with serious constraints for all members of this House”, declared the TCU commission in the document that informed the suspension.
The unofficial survey made by Marques points to “overreporting” of deaths by covid-19 in the country. Last year 195,000 people died as a result of the coronavirus in Brazil. The report was inserted into the TCU system without being included in any process of the agency.
This document was cited by the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, to prove his thesis that about half of the deaths registered as covid-19 would not be caused by the disease. The court dismissed the version the same day.
According to Alexandre Marques’ testimony to Covid’s Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) in the Senate, the text was passed on to his father, Ricardo Silva Marques, who forwarded it to Bolsonaro. The auditor’s father is a friend of the president and holds a position at Petrobras.
Alexandre was even appointed to take over the Compliance Board of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), but was barred by the court’s internal regulations, which do not allow a servant in the house to be transferred to an institution that could be targeted of calculation of the Court of Auditors.