Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office this Tuesday to the new Brazilian health Minister, cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga.
Queiroga is the fourth health Minister in just over two years, succeeding General Eduardo Pazuello. Before, Luiz Henrique Mandetta and Nelson Teich were Ministers too; the two were fired by Bolsonaro during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inauguration ceremony took place discreetly, with no guests or press. Nor was it included in Bolsonaro’s official agenda. The discretion is due to pressure from politicians for Bolsonaro to choose someone else for the post.
Queiroga is known for being aligned with Bolsonaro regarding the management of the pandemic.
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.
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.