Brazil's Vice President Defends Military Personnel in Health, but Says Interim Minister Should Leave in August

'A military person is a citizen like any other, just wears a uniform and has Cartesian reasoning', said Mourão

President Jair Bolsonaro will have to choose in August a new head of the Health Ministry, a position that is temporarily occupied by General Eduardo Pazuello. General Hamilton Mourão ( PRTB), Vice President of the Republic, said this Wednesday (15) to UOL in an interview.

"Pazuello took over on an interim basis and has been on the job for two months. I believe that in another month, in August, Bolsonaro will return from quarantine and analyze other names," he told UOL columnist Tales Faria and reporter Antonio Temóteo.

Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao speaks during a news conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado - REUTERS

In his view, society "has to stop discussing certain issues in a prejudiced way: the military is a citizen like any other, just wears a uniform and has Cartesian reasoning".

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Gilmar Mendes criticized the presence of military personnel in the Ministry of Health, speaking of a "void" in charge and comparing the results of actions to combat the pandemic of the novel coronavirus to "genocide."

"Minister Gilmar Mendes called Minister Pazuello, they talked. The President of the Republic [Jair Bolsonaro, without a party] directed Minister Pazuello to receive the call from Minister Gilmar Mendes. I believe that this issue is over," said Mourão, avoiding criticism of the other supreme ministers.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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