Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is changing his Health Minister again. After 304 turbulent days, Army General Eduardo Pazuello is leaving the government and will be replaced by a physician who also happens to be a hardcore Bolsonaro supporter. The change comes as the president is finally getting some political heat to tackle the pandemic head on and try to steer the country out of its worst crisis in a century.
The new minister, cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga, takes over with Brazil in chaos, breaking new records for daily coronavirus deaths.
He will be Brazil’s fourth Health Minister since the pandemic was declared last year.
Will it be fourth time lucky? Brazilians certainly hope so. And President Jair Bolsonaro should, too. His allies in Congress have made it clear that if Queiroga is a flop, Brazil will not be looking for a new Health Minister — they will be looking for a new president.
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- Don’t miss our Covid-19 Live Blog.
- Experts of flagship medical institution the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation called the Covid-19 crisis “the single worst health crisis in Brazilian history.” And Brazil faces widespread oxygen shortage amid this latest coronavirus peak, Renato Alves reports.
- Listen to episode #141, in which we explain how Brazil has become a warning to the rest of the world about the deadly potential of new variants, which add reinfection and co-infection (when patients catch multiple variants at the same time) to the list of challenges faced by health services.
- Listen to episode #135, in which we talk about what was then the beginning of Brazil’s second wave of coronavirus infections. With the surge of new variants, Covid-19 is becoming deadlier among young patients.
- Listen to episode #122, in which we explain how Latin America went on to become the world’s epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
- In this op-ed, columnist Beatriz Rey explains Congress’ shortcomings in holding President Jair Bolsonaro accountable for the coronavirus crisis. Just last week, newly-elected Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco promised the president “political stability” for the remainder of his term and dismissed the idea of a hearings committee to investigate the government’s pandemic response.
- A group of postgraduate researchers in mechatronic systems developed new face masks seemingly capable of blocking the coronavirus and rendering it inactive.
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