Health Minister refuses resignation of his right-hand man

Health Minister refuses resignation of his right-hand man
Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta. Photo: ABr

In a press conference, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta declared he would “not accept” the resignation of his Health Surveillance Secretary Wanderson Kleber de Oliveira, who announced this morning he would be leaving his post. During a press conference to announce the latest figures of Covid-19 cases and deaths in Brazil, Mr. Mandetta laughed that “if [Mr. Oliveira] resigns, I won’t accept it. We are in this together.”

“We came in together and we will leave together,” Mr. Mandetta added.

Earlier, Mr. Oliveira’s resignation announcement increased speculation that President Jair Bolsonaro would sack his Health Minister by the end of the week. “I will only leave the Health Ministry in three situations,” said Mr. Mandetta. “One, if the president doesn’t want me here anymore; two, if I were to get the flu, and three, if my work were no longer necessary.”

At the same press conference, Deputy Minister João Gabbardo claimed he will not “jump ship” and that he would leave the ministry alongside Mr. Mandetta. Mr. Gabbardo has been rumored to be on President Bolsonaro’s shortlist as a potential Health Minister after Mr. Mandetta’s sacking.

Mr. Oliveira made the last remark of the press conference — and a quite telling one: “We’re tired.”