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Former Health Minister: president tried to change chloroquine label

. May 21, 2020
Former Health Minister: president tried to change chloroquine label Former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta. Photo: Marco Santos/Ag.Pará

Luiz Henrique Mandetta, the former Health Minister who was fired on April 16, has made a serious accusation against President Jair Bolsonaro. He claimed the president wanted to change the drug label of chloroquine, the controversial antimalaria medicine Mr. Bolsonaro has touted as a “possible cure” for Covid-19. Despite no scientific evidence of its efficacy against the coronavirus, Mr. Bolsonaro allegedly tried to edit the label to include recommendations for Covid-19 patients.

“The president surrounded himself with other medical professionals. I remember when, at the end of a day of a cabinet meeting, I was asked to enter a room and saw an anesthesiologist and an immunologist, who were with a draft of a potential future presidential decree. And the idea they had was to change the label at [the Brazilian Sanitary Surveillance] Agency, adding the recommendation for Covid-19.”

Former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, to GloboNews.

Yesterday, the government changed the protocol for chloroquine use, greenlighting it for mild patients. The drug, however, has been linked to serious side effects, including cardiac arrhythmia.

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Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs — specialized in Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

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