[WSMDiscuss] [REDlistserve] Bolsonaro fires popular health minister after dispute over coronavirus response (Dom Phillips, in The Guardian)

John Foran foran at soc.ucsb.edu
Fri Apr 17 20:46:22 CEST 2020

I wonder how this squares with Emil Sader's eye-opening piece about who is
making the decisions in Brazil, and how widely known this is...

I have been looking for more on Emil's story since it came out.  Does
anyone have updates?.


On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 5:02 AM Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net> wrote:

> Thursday, April 16, 2020
> *Viruses in movement…, **Brazil in movement…, Power in movement…*
> [A further report, on what appears to be an apparent reversal of recent
> earlier reports (‘Brazilian President Bolsonaro Is Out Of Power, Replaced
> By General Netto’, by Emir Sader, Brazil Wire
> <http://www.brasilwire.com/sader-bolsonaro-has-been-neutralized-but-military-eyes-2022/>,
> at
> https://popularresistance.org/bolsonaro-out-of-power-replaced-by-general/)
> (and also at
> https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/bolsonaro-s-rupture-with-health-minister-emblematic-of-diminishing-stature-1.4223364)
> But what may also be ‘developing news’… :
> *Bolsonaro fires popular health minister after dispute over coronavirus
> response*
> Luiz Henrique Mandetta defended physical distancing
> Far-right president has downplayed impact of coronavirus
> Dom Phillips, in The Guardian
> https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/16/bolsonaro-brazil-president-luiz-mandetta-health-minister?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
> [image: Bolsonaro with Luiz Mandetta earlier in March.]
> Jair Bolsonaro with Luiz Mandetta earlier in March. Photograph: Andre
> Coelho/Getty Images
> Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked protests and anger by
> sacking his popular health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, after the two
> clashed
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/29/bolsonaro-warns-health-minister-covid-19>
> over Bolsonaro’s highly controversial response to the coronavirus pandemic.
> “I have just received notice of my dismissal from President Jair
> Bolsonaro,” Mandetta tweeted
> <https://twitter.com/lhmandetta/status/1250865863755997189> on Thursday.
> “I would like to say thank you for the opportunity that was given to me, to
> manage our health service … and to plan our fight against the coronavirus
> epidemic, this great challenge that our health system is about to face.”
> Speaking shortly after Mandetta’s exit was announced, Bolsonaro claimed
> the separation had been “a consensual divorce” – but signaled
> dissatisfaction with his former minister’s position on the economic impact
> of coronavirus.
> “I know … life is priceless. But the economy and jobs must return to
> normal,” Bolsonaro said, as he introduced his new health minister, Nelson
> Teich, an oncologist who was CEO of a group of private clinics and is now a
> partner in a medical service consulting outfit.
> Mandetta’s sacking has been anticipated for weeks, as Bolsonaro repeatedly
> downplayed coronavirus and urged the relaxation of social distancing
> measures while Mandetta defended
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/13/brazil-bolsonaro-coronavirus-covid-19-social-distancing>
> such policies.
> But the move to force out Brazil’s most senior health official came just
> weeks before the virus is expected to reach its peak in the country.
> Confirmed cases have soared to more than 30,425 and 1,924 Brazilians have
> died.
> When news of the sacking broke, shouts of “Bolsonaro murder!” were heard
> in central Rio de Janeiro and pan-bashing protests erupted in cities across
> the country.
> “It absurd to change the health minister in the middle of a pandemic,”
> said one Rio de Janeiro intensive care doctor, speaking anonymously for
> fear of repercussions.
> “It was a terrible decision by the president, a president imprisoned in
> empirical ideas without any scientific or clinical basis, who is going
> against everything that is happening in the world.”
> Bolsonaro’s public call for Brazil to get back to work and his efforts to undermine
> regional governments’ shutdowns
> <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/jair-bolsonaro-coronavirus-brazil-governors-appalled>
> has appalled critics and sparked a political rebellion by the governors of
> nearly all of Brazil’s 27 states.
> In contrast, during calm daily briefings Mandetta advised Brazilians to
> follow state governments’ advice on isolation.
> “Don’t think that we are going to escape a sharp rise in cases of this
> illness,” he said in his final briefing
> <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqE7gAqFpjU&feature=youtu.be> on
> Thursday. “The health system still isn’t read [to deal with] a rapid
> increase [in cases].”
> Writing ahead of Bolsonaro’s decision, the political commentator Leandro
> Colon said Mandetta’s sacking might be good news “for those rooting for
> Jair Bolsonaro’s quick downfall”.
> Such a move would further isolate the rightwing populist and could provoke
> “a political reaction of major proportions”, Colon wrote
> <https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/colunas/leandrocolon/2020/04/se-mandetta-cair.shtml>
> in the Folha de São Paulo newspaper.
> But Colon warned that Mandetta’s removal would also be bad news for the
> health of Brazil’s 209 million citizens.
> Recent modelling
> <https://g1.globo.com/bemestar/coronavirus/noticia/2020/03/27/sem-isolamento-e-acoes-contra-a-covid-19-brasil-pode-ter-ate-1-milhao-de-mortes-na-pandemia-diz-estudo.ghtml>
> by researchers from Imperial College London suggested Brazil could have
> more than 1.1 million Covid-19 deaths if no action were taken to control
> the pandemic; 529,000 if only elderly people were forced to isolate; and
> 44,200 if drastic measures were implemented.
> Speaking after Mandetta’s firing, Bolsonaro painted himself as a protector
> of the poor.
> “We cannot harm the neediest – they have no way of staying at home for
> very long without going out to seek their sustenance,” he said.
> In his farewell press conference, Mandetta urged his former staff to mount
> an “unyielding defense of life and science” – a clear swipe at his former
> boss.
> “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Science is light … and it is through science
> that we will find a way out of this.”
> His successor, Teich, said Brazil needed a full testing programme to
> better understand the new coronavirus and promised no “abrupt decision” on
> social distancing.
> But he also made it clear Brazil would slowly start reopening. “What we
> are really doing here today is working for society to return to normal as
> quickly as possible,” he said.
> ____________________________
> Jai Sen
> Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of
> International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of
> Ottawa
> jai.sen at cacim.net
> Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on
> unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
> CURRENT / RECENT publications :
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – *The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our
> Dance*. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press
> <http://www.pmpress.org/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?* (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration
> with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN
> <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>
> , MOM1Flipkart
> <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>,
> and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and
> hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
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