Brazil Health Minister says his 'replacement' is being discussed amid Covid-19 crisis

Sao Paulo Brazil’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello has confirmed rumors that his position may soon be up for grabs, as a devastating resurgence of the coronavirus sweeps the country.

President Jair Bolsonarois thinking of a replacement,” Pazuello said at a press conference on Monday, emphasizing that it was not his idea.
I didn’t ask to leave, nor will I. It is not in my character. When the president asks, we will make a correct transition as is tradition,” él agregó.
    Pazuello, an army general who had no medical experience prior to leading Brazil’s Covid-19 response, has recently faced sharp criticism for vaccine shortages and for oxygen shortages earlier this year in Manaus, capital city of Amazonas state.
      Brazil is now facing the worst of the Covid-19 crisis since the start of the pandemic. As of Monday, a total of least 279,286 people had died of the virus. The country’s hospitals are inundated, with intensive care wards in 22 out of Brazil’s 26 states nearing capacity.
        Cardiologist Ludhmila Hajjar has told CNN affiliate CNN Brasil that she was approached for the job but that it wasn’t a good fit. She was invited by Bolsonaro to the Presidential Palace on Saturday, and spoke with him for hours on two occasions, ella dijo.
        We had two days of conversation, but unfortunately this is not the time for me to be the minister, mainly for technical reasons. I am a doctor, a scientist (…) This is above any ideology, any expectation that is not guided by science,” Hajjar said.
          Bolsonaro, who has long downplayed the seriousness of the virus, has also advocated for the use of unproven drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to cure Covid-19, despite multiple studies showing that they are not effective. He has also pressured local officials to avoid lockdowns and restrictive measures, arguing for the health of the economy.
          His office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
          Brazil's Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello has denied reports that he will resign.

          Brazil’s health ministry has experienced a turbulent sequence of leadership since the start of the pandemic.
          The initial health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, a physician who advocated for social distance measures, was fired by Bolsonaro in April 2020 over disagreements concerning the country’s pandemic strategy.
            Hajjar was considered for the role at the time, but was passed over for oncologist Nelson Teich, who resigned less than one month in due to differences with Bolsonaro.
            En Mayo 2020, Teich was replaced by Pazuello, who at the time was best known for coordinating army troops during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and heading an operation to handle a 2018 influx of Venezuelan migrants.

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