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Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on Wednesday. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday appointed cardiologist Marcelo Queiroga as the new health minister, as the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 continue to spike in the country, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Queiroga is Brazil's fourth health minister since the pandemic began. Intensive care units in 25 of Brazil's 26 state capitals are operating at capacity or close to it, and the numbers show no signs of slowing down.

  • Brazil has reported the second-highest number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Driving the news: Queiroga's predecessor, Brazilian Army Gen. Eduardo Pazuello, had been health minister for less than a year, but he had been criticized over COVID-19 vaccine shortages in recent weeks.

  • He also faced an investigation into oxygen shortages in Amazonas state capital Manaus, CNN notes.

By the numbers: 279,286 Brazilians have died from COVID-19 and over 11.5 million have tested positive for the virus as of Monday night, per Johns Hopkins.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker