In a statement released Monday, Azevedo did not provide a reason for stepping down, but said he had “preserved” the military and left “in the certainty of the mission accomplished.”
“I thank the President of the Republic, to whom I have dedicated total loyalty over these more than two years, for the opportunity to have served the country, as Minister of State for Defense. During that period, I preserved the Armed Forces as state institutions,” he wrote.
His departure is one of several changes at the top of Brazil’s federal government this month.
Marcelo Queiroga, Brazil’s fourth health minister since the beginning of the pandemic, was sworn in quietly just last week, replacing army general Eduardo Pazuello.
A new Covid-19 crisis committee that will now include state officials was also recently announced by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
On Saturday, the country’s daily death toll surpassed 3,000 for second day in a row, and on Thursday night, Brazil’s Health Ministry reported the gruesome figure of more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in a single day — the country’s highest such figure since the pandemic began.
This is a developing story and will be updated.