Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Monday he will continue in his post after overcoming a disagreement with President Jair Bolsonaro over the need for social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“A doctor does not abandon his patient. We will continue,” he said at a news conference at the end of a day of speculation over whether Bolsonaro would fire him in the midst of an escalating public health crisis.
“The government is taking a new position and it will be more focused” on the epidemic, Mandetta said, confirming he had won an arm-wrestle with the president over the need for isolation.
Mandetta, a doctor by training, has openly contradicted the conservative president who has minimized the danger of the epidemic and opposed lockdowns that are stalling the economy.
The minister’s stance, however, received widespread support, which irked Bolsonaro and led him to say last week: “Nobody should forget that I’m the president.”
Bolsonaro’s denial of the need to reinforce social distancing led to a split in his cabinet, with top military officers in the government opposing him and siding with Mandetta, including his Presidential Chief of Staff Walter Braga, an active duty Army general.
Mandetta told reporters he was not able to get much work done on Monday, with uncertainty over his future reaching the point where he emptied out his desk.
The minister said he was just a spokesman for Brazil’s health system whose workers are battling to cope with the advance of coronavirus in Brazil, where confirmed cases have doubled in the last six days to 12,056, with 553 related deaths.
“We are not ready for the escalation of cases in our biggest cities,” he warned, saying that Brazil must nail down purchases of medical supplies from China and then send for them by plane.
Mandetta said social interaction will inevitably spread the virus to the most vulnerable sectors of Brazil’s population of 211 million people, such as the teeming slums or favelas of its big cities.
Brazilians overwhelmingly approve of the work of Mandetta, 76% of Brazilians say he has managed the coronavirus crisis well, according to Datafolha. This represents a jump of 21 points from the previous survey.
Jair Bolsonaro’s approval rate in the health emergency remained stable (35% to 33%. But the percentage of people perceiving his work as a failure increased from 33% to 39%. The positive evaluation is higher among those who earn 2 to 5 times the minimum salary (35%) and in the range between 5 and 10 minimum salaries (36%).
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Finally....the Generals managed to knock some good sense into his head.Apr 07th, 2020 - 04:30 pm 0
JBApr 08th, 2020 - 03:23 am 0
”...the Generals managed to knock some good sense into (Bolsonaro) head.”
No they did not. Not one can knock anything into this guy's head -- especially good sense.
The generals twisted his arm and he relented for his own survival as president. Tantrum-prone Bolsonaro's leadership, however, won't be the same after such a fiasco.
Figure of speech Reekie.Apr 08th, 2020 - 10:02 pm 0
Whether they twisted his arm - which I'd say was accurate - or not, is beside the point. The end result is what matters.
His survival as President depends on no one but himself.....and all this talk about 'impeachment' is just a smoke screen created by the left...they know damned well that unless he commits an impeachable offense, nothing doing.....but don't worry, they are doing their best to stay in the spotlight...although they are fading away...
I know you think the left is the solution to all evils, and I won't try to convince you of the contrary, after all you live in a Canadian-style socialism.......very, very different to what our leftist politicians have in mind for Brazil....so, until you've lived in Brazil for as long as I have, may I respectfully suggest you stop putting your foot in your mouth.