Queiroga: health collapse was due to “biological unpredictability”

Queiroga health collapse chloroquine
Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga speaks to the Covid hearings committee. Photo: Edilson Rodrigues/SF/ACS/CC BY 4.0

During today’s session of the Covid hearings committee investigating the federal government’s pandemic response, inquiry rapporteur Senator Renan Calheiros asked Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga what is lacking in the country to mount an adequate management of the coronavirus crisis. 

Mr. Queiroga replied that the distribution of inputs was up to standard, and that the collapse of Brazil’s health system could be put down to “biological unpredictability.”

The minister dodged a question about whether he agrees with President Jair Bolsonaro’s position on using antimalarial drug chloroquine as a response against the coronavirus. “That issue calls for a technical approach,” he said. While senators critical of Mr. Bolsonaro tried to pressure the Health Minister into a yes-or-no answer, government loyalists intervened, saying the rapporteur was trying to lead the witness.