Newspaper O Globo reports that President Jair Bolsonaro is set to fire Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta later today, quoting confirmation from two of the president’s aides. It is expected that the dismissal will be announced this evening, after a meeting between President Bolsonaro and his cabinet, scheduled for 5 pm. Former Citizenship Minister Osmar Terra is tipped to be the replacement.
Mr. Bolsonaro and his Health Minister have been in a gradually escalating war of words since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, with Mr. Bolsonaro threatening insubordinate cabinet ministers that “their time will come” during a fiery Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday.
While Mr. Mandetta, a trained physician, has preached the need to follow World Health Organization guidelines and promote isolation and social distancing measures nationwide, President Bolsonaro has belittled the danger of Covid-19 and urged the country to return to work.