As Brazil’s coronavirus death toll crossed 14,000, the nation’s Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned on May 15 just weeks after he was appointed by right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro. This speaks volumes of the way Bosonaro is handling the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak in Brazil, which still remains one of the worst-hit nations by the pandemic. 

Teich resignation comes three weeks after his predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta was fired by the president on April 16 after he didn’t support Bolsonaro’s in his irresponsible ideas like promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.

But with Teich too Bolsonaro had the same tussle, as he could make his new Health Minister agree with his whimsical ideas which included reopening the economy, fight the state governors into lifting social distancing orders, and advocate the application of anti-malarial drugs against coronavirus. 

Following the ongoing disagreements, Teich decided to resign from his position just a day after Brazil reported a record number of new coronavirus cases cropping up. Brazil has already bypassed the coronavirus cases toll in Germany and France as it total surged past 200,000 confirmed diagnoses and the number of deaths close to 15,000.

In a news conference held on May 15, Teich just thanked the President for choosing him as the Health Minister, to which he tried to give his best. He gave no reason for why he was leaving his position.

In Teich’s absence, Deputy minister Eduardo Pazuello will hold his office in the interim.

But Bolsonaro continues to take the situation lightly and still stresses on the idea of lifting stay-at-home measures even as the pandemic rages across the nation while neglecting the advice of his health officials.

Losing a second health minister within weeks has stoked the ongoing criticism against Bolsonaro and many have called for his impeachment. Even his congressional opposition leader Alessandro Molon is in agreement with the need for Bolsonaro’s impeachment and warned that Brazil is stuck public health catastrophe. 

"Bolsonaro does not want a technical minister; he wants someone who agrees with his ideological insanity, like ending social distancing and using chloroquine," said Molon.

Jair Bolsonaro Jair Bolsonaro, presidential candidate for the Social Liberal Party, attends an interview for Correio Brazilianse newspaper in Brasilia, June 6, 2018. Getty Images/ EVARISTO SA