Through his social media accounts, President Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced he tested positive for the virus but appeared to have mild symptoms. During his announcement, the president said Mexican Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero would be taking his place during his daily morning news conferences. He said he would still try to stay on top of things from the National Palace.
Despite dealing with the virus, AMLO is expected to have a phone conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin to look into having Mexico receive the Sputnik V vaccine. Mexico is dealing with a shortage of vaccines despite government promises that they would be readily available.
The social media announcement was widely shared in Mexico where many political figures, as well as average users, wished him a speedy recovery. However, just as many messages wished the opposite. These messages caused Twitter to issue a message in Spanish warning of action against bullying and those wishing ill on the sick.
The news of AMLO becoming infected comes at a time when Mexico has seen a sharp increase in the spread of the virus — largely attributed to holiday parties. According to the most recent figures from Mexico’s Health Secretariat, the country currently has 1,763,219 confirmed cases and 146,614 fatalities.
Almost since the start of the pandemic, Mexico’s government has been widely accused of limiting access to testing as a way to artificially report fewer cases in comparison to other nations. Mexico has also been accused of undercounting the number of deaths — a practice that has been questioned by international health experts.