António Lacerda Sales: Image: António Cotrim/ lusa

Health secretary met President’s son twice, denies pulling strings

“I just let him talk”. Former health secretary António Lacerda Sales has admitted to two meetings with the son of president Marcelo, in which the former discussed the situation of Brazilian twin babies who went on to be treated in Portugal with the most expensive drug in the world. But he denies having pulled any kind of strings. President Marcelo has insisted his son’s request for help for the twins was treated – by himself at least – as a request by ‘any other citizen’. It is clear ‘any other citizen’ would have been unlikely to get two audiences with the secretary of State for health, but Lacerda Sales is sticking to his story – and the ‘controversy’/ ‘scandal’ that threatened to sully the reputation of president Marcelo seems to be quietly taking a back seat for the festive season.