Brazilian health minister steps down amid COVID-19 controversy: Report

Brazil seems to be having a massive problem in its top health agency.

The nation’s health minister, Dr. Nelton Teich, resigned on Friday, according to Fox News, making him the second health minister to have left the position in just a month.

Major dysfunction

What exactly is going in Brazil is not known — but something is clearly amiss inside its health agencies.

Prior to Dr. Teich, Luiz Henrique Mandetta had been the health minister for Brazil. But Mandetta was fired by President Jair Bolsonaro over constant disputes concerning how Brazil should be handling its COVID-19 response, as The New York Times reported.

On April 17, Dr. Teich was appointed as his replacement. Now, less than a month later, Teich has also resigned.

“Life is made up of choices and today I decided to leave,” the top doctor told local media Friday, according to Fox.

Conflict on policy

The British government is trying to spin Teich’s departure as having been a personal decision, but there have been several reported disagreements between the doctor and Brazilian leadership.

For one, President Bolsonaro wasn’t a fan of social distancing, and even though coronavirus cases throughout the country have been continuously rising, he is still trying to move forward with reopening his economy. In fact, Bolsonaro has already given permission for businesses such as gyms and salons to reopen.

Brazil’s president was also pushing a drug known as hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus disease — the same drug President Donald Trump has been hoping would produce good results in clinical trials. Trump tweeted in late March:

HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE!

Dr. Teich, however, has been pushing back on the use of this drug, calling its effectiveness “an uncertainty.”

After Dr. Teich resigned, protests started to pop-up throughout Brazil, creating more problems for a country that was reeling before the pandemic.

Now, it seems Brazilians are living in utter chaos — and there’s no sign of the government’s revolving door slowing any time soon.

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