Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro Saturday appointed General Eduardo Pazuello as Acting Health Minister amidst the crisis prompted by the resignation of the last two health ministers, both of whom disagreed with the President's vision on how to fight the pandemic.
Brazil Second Health Minister Quits, Deepening COVID-19 Crisis
"General Pazuello temporarily assumes the Ministry. Look at his resume that includes various awards for his work," says an official publication that lists the positions held by the military, none of which is closely related to health issues.
Pazzuello trained as a parachutist at the Agujas Negras Military Academy and specialized in aerospace policies and strategies.
For most of his career in the Army, he held positions in the logistics area. For example, he was the Army's logistics coordinator during the 2016 Olympic Games and commander of the logistics base at the "triple border" in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
Until Friday, the paratrooper general was serving as Deputy Health Minister and logistics coordinator for Operation Reception, an initiative launched by the Brazilian government to receive Venezuelans crossing the border.
Brazil's Former Health Minister Nelson Teich: "I already told him that chloroquine does not work and can have collateral damage. But I am just a doctor and he is a paratrooper. He knows more."
After 28 days in office, Nelson Teich resigned to his position at the Health Minister without explaining the reasons for his decision.
Previously, however, he expressed his support for social confinement and his surprise at Bolsonaro’s decision to allow the operation of beauty salons and gyms.
According to local outlets, the Brazilian president's decision to impose the use of chloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients was "what exhausted Teich’s patience."
As of Saturday morning, Brazil was sixth in the ranking of countries with the highest number of coronavirus infections and had reported 222,877 COVID-19 CASES and 15,046 deaths.
During the last 24 hours, the Bolsonaro administration acknowledged the existence of 15,305 new cases and 824 new deaths.