Bolsonaro fires popular health minister after dispute over coronavirus response

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Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has sacked his popular health minister Luiz Mandetta after a weeks-long standoff between the two men over radically different views of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mandetta has defended social isolation while the far-right president insists the impact of the pandemic on Brazil’s struggling economy is more important than loss of life.

Bolsonaro’s downplaying of coronavirus – and his public call for Brazil to relax quarantine measures and get back to work – have appalled critics and many citizens, sparking nightly pot-banging protests in major cities.
 
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