Brazil’s newly-appointed Education Minister positive for Covid-19

Milton Ribeiro during his inauguration ceremony. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR
Milton Ribeiro during his inauguration ceremony. Photo: Isac Nóbrega/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro’s new Education Minister Milton Ribeiro announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19. Mr. Ribeiro was sworn in on Thursday, June 16, as the president’s newest Education Minister after Carlos Alberto Decotelli resigned before taking office after submitting false information on his resume.

Mr. Ribeiro, a Presbyterian minister, holds a master’s degree in law and undergraduate degrees in law and theology from Mackenzie University in São Paulo.

He was appointed by Mr. Bolsonaro on July 10 to replace former Education Minister Abraham Weintraub after his tumultuous exit from the ministry, with countless inflammatory comments instigating the arrest of Supreme Court justices.

It remains unclear whether Mr. Ribeiro’s positive test has any relation to President Bolsonaro, who announced that he had contracted Covid-19 on July 7. 

Milton Ribeiro joins Citizenship Minister Onyx Lorenzoni as the second cabinet member to announce a coronavirus infection following the president’s own diagnosis. On Sunday, the president left isolation to join protesters in front of the presidential palace and once again promote the anti-malaria drug chloroquine to the public — despite any scientific evidence of its efficiency in treating Covid-19.

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