Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro replaces six ministers amid Covid crisis

Resignation letters were released by now ex-ministers throughout the day, with Former Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva releasing a statement saying he had “preserved the Armed Forces as a State institution.” He will be replaced by Army General Braga Netto, the former Government Minister.

Former Attorney General Andre Levi, who refused to sign Bolsonaro’s lawsuit to lift three state governors’ lockdown orders, also published a letter of resignation. He will be replaced by Andre Mendonca, Brazil’s former Justice Minister.

Mendonca’s former seat at the Justice Ministry will now be filled by Federal Police Chief Anderson Torres, a friend of the Bolsonaro family.

The former Secretary of State, General Luiz Eduardo Ramos, was appointed Government Minister. Flavia Arruda, a federal deputy, is now the Secretary of State.

And the former Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araujo has been replaced by diplomat Carlos Alberto França.

These changes appear to put several army generals closer to Bolsonaro in more strategic positions, following several other changes at the top of Brazil’s federal government this month. Marcelo Queiroga, Brazil’s fourth health minister since the beginning of the pandemic, was sworn in quietly just last week, replacing Eduardo Pazuello. A new Covid-19 crisis committee including state officials was also recently formed to confront Brazil’s devastating coronavirus resurgence.

Criticism of Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic has escalated in recent weeks as the coronavirus variant P.1 rips through the country, seriously sickening even younger people

On Saturday, the country’s daily death toll surpassed 3,000 for second day in a row, and on Thursday night, Brazil’s Health Ministry reported the gruesome figure of more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in a single day — the country’s highest such figure since the pandemic began.

Signs of collapse across Brazil as Covid spirals out of control. Bolsonaro seems to have little response
So far, a total of 312,206 people have died in the country from the virus, and 12,534,688 have been infected, according to official data.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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