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Brazilian Health Minister Dr. Nelson Teich resigned Friday after just weeks on the job over disagreements with the country’s handling of the coronavirus.
Teich was appointed on April 17 after President Jair Bolsonaro fired his predecessor Luiz Henrique Mandetta over disputes on how the country should respond to the crisis.
“Life is made up of choices and today I decided to leave,” Teich told reporters Friday, but he did not give any specific reason as too why he abruptly resigned.
But Cabinet Chief Braga Netto told reporters he resigned for “personal reasons,” and Bolsonaro has not yet commented on his second health minister stepping down.
Teich has said he took office with the intention to balance the economic needs of Brazil and manage the pandemic.
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Bolsonaro opposed many of the social-distancing lockdown measures and pushed to restart the economy, despite continual increases in coronavirus cases.
Brazil reportedly has 220,000 confirmed cases and over 15,000 deaths from the coronavirus, though experts believe it could be higher due to insufficient testing.
Bolsonaro permitted gyms, hair salons and barbers to reopen Monday, regardless of the spike in cases.
Teich opposed distributing the anti-malaria drug chloroquine to coronavirus-positive patients, calling it “an uncertainty.” The health ministry had previously allowed the drug to be used with coronavirus patients in critical conditions.
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Bolsonaro told business leaders in a video conference Thursday that he would relax regulations around using chloroquine to treat people with COVID-19.
Research last month in the United States reported no benefits to using the drug to treat people in hospitals.
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The health ministry has reportedly begun listing figures on chloroquine distribution as an initiative that the government is taking to combat the coronavirus.
Protests began in parts of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro after Teich’s resignation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.