Once unknown to the Brazilian public — let alone to foreign observers — Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta was thrust into the limelight by the Covid-19 pandemic, becoming one of the most popular cabinet ministers in the current government. However, the public knows very little about Mr. Mandetta from before March 11, when the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
Mr. Mandetta is often described as having been a “technical appointment” to Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet, as opposed to a political one. Indeed, the Health Minister does not display utter contempt for science, unlike some of his peers. His decisions throughout the pandemic have been backed up by evidence, as opposed to gut feeling or wishful thinking. He also displays a low profile on social media, especially in comparison to the crass style of Education Minister Abraham Weintraub or of President Jair Bolsonaro himself.