This is even stupider than it sounds at first. Mandetta, the Health minister, has been praised for his work handling this crisis, and in fact he sounds like the only halfway competent person in this administration right now. Which is exactly the problem. Early last week, Mandetta was doing most of the talking in the government’s press collectives, and like I said, people were praising his work. The result? Bolsonaro got butthurt that it wasn’t him in the spotlight, and started getting Mandetta to just sit silent by his side while he spoke, and then not getting him on the scene at all. And the fact that the Health ministry in general, and Mandetta personally in interviews, are going directly against Bolsonaro in advocating for reasonable, science-based approaches, and making the president look bad to anyone who’s informed about this at all (which is way too few people, but still), just makes this ego problem even worse. If he fires Mandetta, it will be a tremendously stupid move, and will only cement Bolsonaro even further as someone who wants only stupid and incompetent people in his team so he doesn’t look bad… And it will have terrible consequences for our public health situation.

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