Bolsonaro Turns to Military Allies to Set Brazil’s Coronavirus Vaccine Policy

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the severity of COVID-19 and touted the unproven malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which he took when he contracted coronavirus in July.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil’s leader Jair Bolsonaro is moving to assert control of the nation’s independent health regulator, ANVISA, a move some health experts fear will politicize the agency and give the president, one of the world’s most prominent coronavirus skeptics, free rein over vaccine approvals.

Bolsonaro on November 12th nominated a retired soldier, Jorge Luiz Kormann, to take one of ANVISA’s five director posts. Kormann, a former lieutenant-colonel with no background in medicine or vaccine development, would lead the unit charged with greenlighting vaccines. If he is confirmed by Brazil’s Senate, as . . .

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