Former Health Minister Nelson Teich told the Senate’s Covid hearings committee that he resigned after less than a month in office due to President Jair Bolsonaro’s insistence on adopting antimalarial drug chloroquine as the country’s official coronavirus response policy. The medicine has no proven scientific efficacy in treating Covid-19.
“I didn’t need longer to realize I wouldn’t have the necessary autonomy to conduct my work as I saw fit,” he said.
However, Mr. Teich added that Mr. Bolsonaro never directly pressured him into acting one way or another. The head of state sent his messages by way of press statements touting chloroquine.
“It is in the public domain. It was the president’s wish [to use chloroquine],” Mr. Teich added.When questioned about the distribution of chloroquine to states and indigenous communities, the former minister denied any knowledge. “If it happened, it was without my consent or knowledge.”