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A military man assumed as interim minister of Health in Brazil

Eduardo Pazuello (EFE / Joédson Alves)
Eduardo Pazuello (EFE / Joédson Alves)

The general Eduardo Pazuello, a military man with no experience in the area, he assumed this Saturday as interim minister of Health of Brazil in the midst of the crisis generated by COVID-19 after the resignation of the last two headlines for disagreeing with President Jair Bolsonaro on the fight against the pandemic.

Pazuello, who last month had been appointed as Deputy Minister of Health of Brazil by Bolsonaro, will serve temporarily as incumbent until the head of state decides to replace Nelson Teich, who resigned on Friday, the Ministry reported this Saturday.

"General Pazuello temporarily assumes the Ministry. Get to know his curriculum that includes various awards for his work”, Ensures the publication, which lists the positions held by the military throughout his career as an officer in the Brazilian Army, none of which linked to the Health area.

Pazzuello, who, like Bolsonaro, trained as an officer and parachutist at the Agujas Negras Military Academy, specialized in command and aerospace policies and strategies, according to the curriculum released by the Ministry.

For most of his career held positions in the logistics area of ​​the Armed Forces, among which that of the Army's logistics coordinator during the Olympic Games that Rio de Janeiro organized in 2016 and that of commander of the Logistics Base on the triple border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

The until yesterday Minister of Health of Brazil, Nelson Teich (i), in the company of Eduardo Pazuello (EFE / Joédson Alves)
The until yesterday Minister of Health of Brazil, Nelson Teich (i), in the company of Eduardo Pazuello (EFE / Joédson Alves)
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Before assuming as Vice Minister of Health, he worked as logistics coordinator of the Welcome Operation, the initiative launched by the Brazilian Government to receive and attend to the thousands of Venezuelans who cross the border fleeing from the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in their country.

The military interim assumed in the place of Teich, who on Friday resigned from the position he held for 28 days and that, although he did not explain the reasons for his decision, had public disagreements with Bolsonaro around strategies to combat the pandemic in Brazil.

Contrary to the head of state, who insists on denying the seriousness of the pandemic and criticizing measures of social distancing, Teich had expressed his support for social confinement as a tool to combat the pandemic and he said surprised with the decision of the head of state to authorize the operation of beauty salons and gyms.

The drop that apparently broke the patience of the minister was Bolsonaro's decision to impose as a rule the use of chloroquine for the treatment of all patients with COVID-19 Despite the fact that the efficacy of this medicine is not proven and in some cases it has been shown to be counterproductive.

Teich, who will be in office for a month next Sunday, is the second health minister to leave the government since the first case of coronavirus in Brazil was detected on February 26.

Former Brazilian Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta (REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino)
Former Brazilian Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta (REUTERS / Ueslei Marcelino)

Pressures similar to those suffered by Teich, and for the same reasons, led the head of state to dismiss his predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, a strong promoter of quarantines, cautious with chloroquine and who fell just a month ago.

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With Pazuello, appointed deputy minister as part of Bolsonaro's strategy of giving strategic positions in his Government to officers of the Armed Forces, reaches 9 the number of holders among the 22 ministries in the administration of the colonel of the reserve.

The minister assumes amid the long-term advance of the pandemic in Brazil, which is already the sixth country with the most cases of COVID-19 in the world.

The South American giant registered 15,305 new cases of COVID-19 on a single day on Friday, a record figure that brought the number of infected to 218,223, as well as 824 new deaths from the disease, bringing the total number of victims to 14,817 in almost two months, since the first death was registered last March 17.

Forecasts indicate that infections and deaths will continue to grow exponentially in this country of 210 million inhabitants and that the peak of the disease will only occur in the coming weeks.

(With information from EFE)

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