Society

Bolsonaro changes health minister for the fourth time since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis

Cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga accepted the president's invitation after other colleagues declined the offer

Brazil former Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello
Brazil's former Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello, during a press conference. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom / ABr
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  • Two other doctors invited to occupy the position refused the invitation because they disagreed with the current federal government’s anti-science view;
  • Bolsonaro and his political allies have repeatedly disregarded sanitary measures such as wearing masks and social distancing;
  • Bolsonaro’s administration has also been promoting campaigns on social networks since last year, defending the so-called “early treatment.”

On Monday night, Jair Bolsonaro‘s government announced a new health minister – the fourth since the new coronavirus pandemic began. Cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga accepted the president’s invitation after other colleagues declined the offer.

For CNN Brasil, he stated that lockdowns could not be a “government policy” and should only be used in extreme situations. He also said that while there is still no proven effective treatment against COVID-19, “doctors have the autonomy to prescribe” treatments to their pacients.

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Bolsonaro’s administration has been promoting campaigns on social networks since last year, defending the so-called “early treatment.” The “Covid kit,” made available by the Ministry of Health, includes hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, along with other drugs – substances that were initially tested in laboratories but that, later, in clinical studies, have been shown to have no effect of preventing or treating COVID-19 infections.

To Folha de S.Paulo, last Sunday (14), the new minister had said that chloroquine would not be part of his strategy, if he accepted the new position.

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Two other doctors invited to occupy the position refused the invitation because they disagreed with the current federal government’s anti-science view. Bolsonaro and his political allies have repeatedly disregarded sanitary measures such as wearing masks and social distancing.

On Monday, cardiologist Ludhmila Hajjar, the first name polled to occupy the Ministry of Health, declined the offer because she disagreed with measures advocated by Bolsonaro, such as the use of the so-called early treatment. Hajjar also told several media outlets that she believes it is necessary to adopt a pending lockdown to decrease the transmission rate of the Sars-Cov-2.

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Queiroga replaces Eduardo Pazuello, who leaves office in the midst of an investigation into whether the Ministry of Health has failed to deal with the health crisis in Manaus.

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