It was the first week in October, and the average daily death toll in Brazil is still 600 due to Coronavirus disease, When a group of about 80 doctors gathered at the Paradise Beach resort of Arraial D’Ajuda, in Porto Seguro, to “share experiences” about so-called early treatment. The event, as well as discussing the use of ineffective drugs against the disease, served as a political platform for some.
The organizer of the meeting, Dr. Risa Soares, seized the opportunity to campaign for the candidate Janio Natal (PL), who was running for mayor of the city of Bahia. The politician was elected weeks later and Risa was appointed Minister of Health. The doctor, who was previously invited by the Presidency to speak at an event about the epidemic in Planalto in August, is now evaluating the candidacy for the post of governor of Bahia in 2022.
In the same week, also in a municipality of Bahia, another leader of doctors advocating “early treatment” took advantage of the growing popularity on social networks to announce the candidacy of a member of the Patriotas Council of Fiera de Santana. On his Instagram profile, surgeon Eduardo Litt, one of the coordinators of Associação Médicos pela Vida (the main entity in defense of early treatment), has posted posts asking for a vote, defending President Bolsonaro, and even questions the number of deaths by Covid-19. An epidemic is called “fraud.”
Like Raíssa e Leite, some key “influential” physicians on the use of ineffective drugs against the Coronavirus have taken advantage of fame on social networks and in their cities to apply for political or public office or to hold political or public positions and to strengthen networks and channels for Bolsonaro. a Estadaw At least four physicians advocating harmless drugs have been identified as participating in the 2020 elections. In addition to Light, another association coordinator has also run for the position of advisor. Gander Laurero ran for a place in the Rio Bonito (RJ) City Hall Pro. Neither of them was elected.
A follower of early treatment who offended a failed attempt to enter politics was endocrinologist Annelies Menegueso, who was unable to be elected Vice Mayor of Campina Grande (PB) by PSL. His partymate, Dr. Pedro Melo, was more fortunate. An orthopedic surgeon, who is also an advocate for Covid group medicines, has been elected as a consultant in the city of Puerto Ferrara, in the interior of Sao Paulo.
In a live broadcast in March on the Association for Doctors for Life channel, he admitted that his social media accounts “to guide residents about early treatment” helped him get elected. “I used this platform, and I will not say no, to be elected as a city councilor. It made sense of me as a bigger viewpoint on social networks and I was elected last November,” he said.
In the same post, he says he is serving COVID-19 patients through WhatsApp and provides 20 to 30 early treatment prescriptions per day. The orthopedic surgeon also says that he studied a lot “on Google and YouTube” about the disease, in addition to seeking to obtain more information with his colleagues about the lung, as his specialty is not used to dealing with respiratory diseases. He said, “I learned to see the pictures, and I went to the radiologist in the next city and tried to see the pictures because it was a long time since I studied the lung a lot.”
Support the president
Even some doctors who did not try to get political office, but are “influential” for early treatment, have a strong connection with Polsonaria and use their popularity on social media to glorify the president and criticize his rivals. A doctor who recently graduated from Alagoas Marcos Falcão, who received a lot of criticism in March when he released a number of WhatsApp and said he would prescribe early telemedicine treatment for the whole country, since 2014 has maintained a right-wing channel with 207 thousand followers. On the podium, he defends Bolsonaro and attacks political figures seen as opposing the president, such as Governor Joao Doria (PSDB) and former Mayor Rodrigo Maya.
The vision also helped the doctor, who acquired the CRM four months ago, to increase the number of patients. On his Telegram channel, he said that since he released his WhatsApp number, more than 2,000 people interested in attending had called him. He also consulted with his followers about the possibility of running for the position of deputy in the upcoming elections.
The professionals say the separation between practice and politics
Required by EstadawSome early treatment physicians who have applied for public office have justified that entering politics has nothing to do with the visibility they enjoy in the defense of medicines or the support of President Jair Bolsonaro, who himself is an advocate of drugs such as hydroxychloroquine.
Eduardo Litt, from Vieira de Santana, said his decision to try public office was already made before the pandemic, after he chose to retire from his medical career. He also said that he did not use his professional position to get votes. “I closed my office during the campaign. I did not offer consultations in exchange for a vote like some do.
Letty also stated that although he is both a voter and a supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro, he prefers that the president not talk about early treatment so that politics and medicine do not mix. “Neither the president, nor the governor, nor the mayor should speak,” he said.
Regarding the publication in which he called the epidemic “fraud”, he denied that it had reduced the severity of the health crisis and said that it referred to the way in which some government officials are using the epidemic in the name of their own interest.
Anneliese Minigueso, from Campina Grande, also stated that her relationship with politics is older and that her candidacy for vice mayor was not even expected. “I am the president of the PSL in my city, I was the leader of the Vem pra Rua movement, but that was not in my plans to run. I only accepted it because the deputy candidate had a personal problem at the last minute,” he said.
She stated that while some of Bolsonaro’s actions were supported, this did not affect his medical practice. I really agree with some ideas from the president, but I think a doctor who takes any action through political or ideological bias hurts his oath. We always have to think about the patient. ”
Contacted: Raíssa Soares, from Porto Seguro Estadaw Through his personal advisor, but he did not respond to the interview request. Pedro Melo, from Porto Ferreira, was also contacted by phone and letter, but he stopped responding when he was informed of the content of the report. a Estadaw He was unable to contact the doctors, Gander Laurero, from Río Bonito, and Marcos Falcao, from Maceió.