BRASILIA – After being hired this Wednesday, 16th, as Minister of Health, after almost four months as interim, the general Eduardo Pazuello he did not want to answer whether he will make the switch to the paid reserve. The presence of an active military officer in the first positions of the government creates discomfort among members of the Armed forces.
“Booking is a possibility, not an obligation,” replied Pazuello when questioned by journalists shortly after the ceremony.
In July, Pazuello became the target of a crisis with the Minister of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), Gilmar Mendes, who said the Army was associating with a “genocide”, referring to the health crisis.
In the face of criticism of the militarization of health during the pandemic, Bolsonaro began to be pressured to replace Pazuello. Army members feared for the image of the Force and wanted the general to request the transfer to the reserve if he decided to take the job definitively.
The discomfort between members of the Armed Forces with active military personnel in command posts was crucial for the minister of the Government Secretariat, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, to anticipate his departure for the paid reserve in June this year. Ramos is responsible for the political articulation of the government.
However, in the midst of the crisis involving Minister Gilmar Mendes, President Bolsonaro came out in defense of Pazuello on social media and praised the general’s experience in logistics and administration. “It was fate that Gen. Pazuello assumed the interim of Health last May. With 5,500 servants in the Ministry, Gen. took only 15 military personnel with him to the portfolio. This group has been with him since before the Olympics ”, he wrote. In May, Bolsonaro had already signaled that the general could stay in office by saying that he would stay “for a long time” at the Ministry of Health.
Minister returns to talk about vaccination in January
Pazuello again said that the forecast is that vaccination against covid-19 starts in January. However, he said it could be anticipated if the tests were completed ahead of schedule. “The signed schedule is from January, with the possibility of anticipating if the tests and the completion of the vaccine are anticipated,” he said.
The minister stated that there is still no closed strategy for the start of vaccination, but mentioned that he has the expertise of the National Immunization Plan (PNI) and that there is already a well-defined target audience.
“We have the largest immunization plan in the world, in terms of the area served and vaccinated. So, we have this logistical expertise and we also have the target audiences already very clear. So, certainly during the pandemic, we were able to verify which are the most sensitive target audiences and from there you can assess that we already have a line of work on target audiences ”, he said.