Rio de Janeiro announces new health secretary amid federal investigation

. Jun 22, 2020
Rio de Janeiro announces new health secretary amid federal investigation Former Secretary Fernando Ferry (left) and Governor Witzel. Photo: GRJ

Colonel Alex Bousquet, of Rio de Janeiro’s fire department, is the state’s new health secretary, making him the third person to occupy the position since the Covid-19 pandemic started. Earlier today, former Secretary Fernando Ferry resigned, as we informed in our Weekly Report (for premium and standard subscribers).

Mr. Ferry remained in office for just over a month, having been announced as Rio’s top health official on May 17. He complained about being forced to pay for “problematic contracts.” 

The Federal Police is currently investigating Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel, suspected of taking kickbacks from companies that siphoned part of the state’s coronavirus budget through overpriced deals.

The new health secretary, Col. Bousquet, holds a medical degree from the Rio de Janeiro State University and is specialized in intensive therapy. He also has a graduate degree in Operational Management of Health Institutions.  

Col. Bousquet previously worked as an offshore rescue doctor for state-controlled oil and gas company Petrobras between 2008 and 2012, and has been a member of the Rio de Janeiro Fire Department for 20 years.

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Rafael Lima

Rafael is a Communication student at Wake Forest University, and a student fellow of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

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