SAO PAULO (AP) – Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuelo said on Monday that President Air Air Bolsonaro planned to replace him amid the worst COVID-19 fractures in the country after a series of mistakes made by public health professionals. One of the candidates to replace him, a well-known cardiologist, has already turned down the job.
General Pazuello, who was on active duty in the army, passed away in May, although he had no previous medical experience, but instead because of reports of his experience in the field of logistics.
“Yes, the president is thinking about a replacement, he is looking at names,” Pazuelo told a news conference in the Brazilian capital. “The president is negotiating to reorganize the ministry. We will make a full transition. “
Pazuello’s departure would mean the ouster of Brazil’s fourth health minister during the epidemic, despite the fact that he has been in charge of the ministry for the longest three years. The revolving door signals the challenges for the government of Latin America, the largest country in the world, to take effective measures to control the spread of the virus, or even to agree on what measures are needed.
Pazuello’s two predecessors resigned amid disagreements with Bolsonaro, who criticized the wide social distance and supported the use of a proven anti-malarial drug to treat the disease. He continues to hold those positions, despite warnings from health professionals that studies show that the drug has no effect on COVID-19.
Pazuelo proved to be more flexible. Immediately after starting the case, his ministry supported the use and distribution of the malaria pill. He said several times that the boss told him what to do, he obeyed.
Brazil has reported nearly 280,000 deaths from the virus, almost all of them under its watch. The victims are getting worse lately. There are currently an average of more than 1,800 deaths in the country every day. The health systems of major cities are on the verge of collapse. Եւ Lawmakers allied with Bolsonaro have proposed suitable replacements for Pazuelo, while threatening to put pressure on a crisis investigation.
The country’s Supreme Court is also investigating Pazuelo for alleged negligence that contributed to the collapse of the health care system in the state of Amazonas earlier this year. Weeks later, in a particularly embarrassing episode, his ministry accidentally sent a shipment of vaccines to the neighboring Amazon state of Amapa, after confusing the acronyms for each state.
Finally, Pazuelo has been widely criticized for his slow spread of vaccines in Brazil. According to Our World in Data, an online research site comparing official government statistics, only 5.4% of Brazilians have been vaccinated. Almost all of them were personnel from the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, which Bolsonaro repeatedly questioned.
Pazuelo’s health ministry also postponed its decision to buy the vaccine from the Sao Paulo state government until there was no other way to start vaccination in January.
The only vaccine deal that Pazuelo made at the time, for 100 million doses of AstraZeneca puncture, has so far fired several shots into the hands of Brazilians. After that, his ministry tried to negotiate contracts with other suppliers, recently concluding deals to acquire Pfizer և Sputnik V personnel.
At a news conference on Monday, Pazuello said he would not resign, adding that he would continue to work with those he takes over.
On Monday, cardiologist Lyudmila Hajar said Bolsonaro had interviewed her to replace Pazuelo. He told Globo News that science had already decided that the country should take more restrictive measures in the treatment of Bolsonaro, the legionnaire of his supporters, as well as drugs against malaria and parasites. He said he was resigning.
“He has to choose someone he trusts who is in line with himself, his ideas, his vision, the wishes of the government. And, of course, I’m not that person, “he said.
Hajar predicted a total of 500,000 to 600,000 deaths, not to mention long-term consequences until Brazil changed course.
AP journalist David Biller participated in this report by the Rio de Janeiro aneurysm.