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Brazil’s Health Minister Resigns Following Disputes with President Jair Bolsonaro

In less than a month in the role, Brazil’s health minister has resigned after disputes about the government’s approach towards the country’s worsening coronavirus crisis. Nelson Teich had opposed a decree signed by President Jair Bolsonaro allowing reopening of gyms and beauty parlours.

During a press conference, however, he offered no explanation for his resignation. His predecessor had been sacked following his dispute with Mr Bolsonaro. The far-right president appears to reject proposals for the lockout. He downplayed the virus as “a little flu” and said Covid-19 ‘s spread is unavoidable, drawing global criticism.

In spite of its coronavirus caseload, Brazil has lately surged past Germany and France, becoming one of the world’s hotspots with over 218,000 cases and a total of 15,305 in the last 24 hours. The latest daily estimates have reported 824 new confirmed deaths, raising the official death toll to 14,817.

Nelson Teich’s Resignation Stays Annonymous

Mr Teich has not revealed why he had stepped down at his news conference. He also thanked President Bolsonaro for providing him with the opportunity to serve as a minister and praised the health workers. Yet on some facets of how the government treated the spiralling epidemic, he has disagreed with the president. He clashed with the president’s wish to use chloroquine widely as a medication. While the World Health Organization (WHO) states there is no clear proof that it works, the medication has gained widespread attention.

Mr Teich also argues with the president over efforts to open up the economy, claiming last week he does not know ahead of an order that paves the way for reopening gyms, beauty salons and hairdressers. But the final straw, the Globo newspaper reported, was disputes about how chloroquine should be used. He is the second Minister of Health to leave the post in less than a month. When President Bolsonaro openly rebukes him for encouraging people to follow social isolation and remain indoors, Luiz Henrique Mandetta lost a job in April.

It was painful to lose one health minister. But then to lose two in less than a month is not only disappointing for Jair Bolsonaro but also highly troubling for Brazil. The nation has become the new coronavirus hotspot and the pandemic has turned political. It is rather than leaders seeking to tackle it together and the country’s leadership struggles. It is to provide leadership for a population that desperately needs it.

Nelson Teich did not give any reasons for his resignation. But he did not see his boss eye-to-eye on the use of chloroquine. His health ministry omits this week. Jair Bolsonaro wanted to include beauty salons, hairdressers and gymnastics as critical services. Jair Bolsonaro’s health minister ‘s position seems to be a thankless task at the moment. This is even at the worst possible time in Brazil, it’s a tough work vacancy.

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