May 15, 20 - 12:12 pm - LABS

With less than a month in office, Brazil’s new Health Minister calls for resignation

Even before completing a month in office, the Brazilian Minister of Health, Nelson Teich, left office this Friday, according to information from the G1 portal and Rede Globo. In a statement, the Ministry said that Teich resigned. Teich took office on April 17th, after Luiz Henrique Mandetta left the government.

Teich and Mandetta on the day the new minister took office. Photo: Marcello Casal JrAgência Brasil

That means that this is the second minister to step down amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country. And as with Mandetta, Teich left due to differences with President Jair Bolsonaro.

According to G1, Teich was called to a meeting at the Planalto Palace this morning. He was with Bolsonaro and then returned to the Ministry of Health building. The resignation was announced soon after.

Bolsonaro and Teich disagreed on at least three points:

  1. the use of chloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 (Bolsonaro wants to change the SUS protocol and allow the application of the drug from the beginning of the treatment, even without scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the drug);
  2. Bolsonaro’s decree that expanded essential activities during the pandemic period and included beauty salons, barber shops and fitness centers (the president did not consult the Ministry of Health before making this decision);
  3. and details of the plan with guidelines for leaving isolation (Bolsonaro argues for more immediate and wider flexibility, while Teich spoke of a slow and gradual plan for Brazilians to leave isolation).

Minutes ago, Mandetta posted a short statement on Twitter. He said: Let us pray! Strength SUS (the public health system in Brazil), Science, Patience, and faith.