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“The Communavirus Is Here”

Anti-Communist Conspiracy Theories in Brazil’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

This is chapter 26 of the 2023 edited volume “Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories in Global Perspective”, edited by Michael Butter and Peter Knight. The entire book is available for digital open access at

“The chaos of Jair Bolsonaro’s government will go down in history as the lowest step of human and civilizational decadence. He sabotaged science, he is unprepared, dishonest, malicious, arrogant, authoritarian, of a coup-plotting nature, bellicose, a liar, and he acted like a mad missionary in a mission to kill his own people. This rapporteur is quite convinced that there is a murderer hiding in the Planalto Palace.” With these words, Brazilian Senator Renan Calheiros submitted, in late October, the final report of a congressional panel which had been investigating the government’s management of the pandemic in the past six months. With the report, Brazilian lawmakers seek criminal charges against Bolsonaro for considering that he intentionally encouraged the spread of Covid-19 in the country and is therefore partly responsible for the more than 600,000 deaths of Brazilians. Drawing on the findings of the aforementioned congressional panel and contextualizing current events against a broader historical background of the role and relevance of conspiracy theories in Brazil, this chapter will give a brief overview of the circulation of conspiracy theories during the Covid-19 pandemic. In exploring the particular context in which the latter proliferated, emphasis will be given on the strategic uses of conspiracy theories for political purposes.

Hatzikidi, Katerina. “‘The Communavirus Is Here.’” Covid Conspiracy Theories in Global Perspective, edited by Michael Butter and Peter Knight, Routledge, New York, NY, 2023, pp. 366–377.

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