Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil's former president, speaks during a press conference on March 10, 2021 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. (Photo: Cris Faga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil's former president, speaks during a press conference on March 10, 2021 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil. (Photo: Cris Faga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Brazil's Lula Urges Biden to Call Emergency G20 Summit to Promote Global Vaccine Equity

The former Brazilian president suggested that the U.S. vaccine surplus "could be donated to Brazil, or other countries even poorer than Brazil that cannot afford to buy the vaccine."

Kenny Stancil

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is urging U.S. President Joe Biden to call an emergency G20 summit on the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a more equitable global distribution of vaccines.

"I couldn't ask that of Trump, but Biden is a breath for democracy in the world," Lula told CNN's Christiane Amanpour during an exclusive interview set to air in full on Thursday.

Speaking from São Paulo, Lula noted that the U.S. has an excess supply of vaccines and suggested that the surplus "could be donated to Brazil, or other countries even poorer than Brazil that cannot afford to buy the vaccine."

"The responsibility of international leaders is tremendous so I'm asking President Biden to do that because I don't believe in my government," added Lula, who just last week denounced Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for his catastrophic mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis in the hard-hit South American country.

Lula's speech last week—the first since a Brazilian Supreme Court justice annulled several criminal convictions against the former president, restoring his political rights—sparked rumors of a potential bid to unseat Bolsonaro.

During his interview Wednesday, Lula did not rule out running in the country's presidential election next year.

"When it comes the moment to run for the elections, and if my party and the other allied parties understand that I could be the candidate, and if I'm well and my health with the energy and power that I have today, I can reassure you that I will not deny that invitation, but I don't want to talk about that," Lula told Amanpour. "That's not my main priority. My main priority now is to save this country."

Covid-19 has claimed the lives of nearly 285,000 people in Brazil—the world's second-highest death toll, after the U.S., over the past year. Earlier this month, following consecutive days of record deaths that have pushed the country's hospital system "to the brink of collapse," Bolsonaro told citizens to stop "whining."

Meanwhile, the U.S.—in addition to hoarding vaccines and refusing to donate them to countries in need—is one of a handful of rich nations that is blocking a widely supported India and South Africa-led proposal to share vaccine recipes and boost global production by temporarily waiving an intellectual property rights agreement at the World Trade Organization.

In a video released last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that "it is unconscionable that amid a global health crisis, huge multibillion dollar pharmaceutical companies continue to prioritize profits by protecting their monopolies and driving up prices rather than prioritizing the lives of people everywhere, including in the Global South."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·


Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·


Millions More Kids Going Hungry Since GOP, Manchin Killed Expanded Child Tax Credit

"Even brief disruptions in access to food can have lasting consequences," wrote the authors of a new analysis of worsening hunger among U.S. families.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo