Mexico’s President Says He’s Infected With Covid-19

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he has Covid-19 amid record increases in the nation’s cases and fatalities from the outbreak in the past week.

The 67-year-old president announced his diagnosis in atweet late Sunday, saying his symptoms are mild and that he’s receiving treatment. He’s also expected to stay on top of the country’s affairs, and will take a scheduled call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday.

“As always, I am optimistic,” he said. “We will all move forward.”

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Andrés Manuel

@lopezobrador_

Lamento informarles que estoy contagiado de COVID-19. Los síntomas son leves pero ya estoy en tratamiento médico. Como siempre, soy optimista. Saldremos adelante todos. Me representará la Dra. Olga Sánchez Cordero en las mañaneras para informar como lo hacemos todos los días.1:30 AM · Jan 25, 2021

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Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has generally held a lax approach to the virus, refusing to impose mandatory lockdowns and pressing hard to keep the economy open for business. With the increase in deaths in the past week, the nation now has the fourth-highest number of fatalities globally, after the U.S., Brazil and India.

Mexico doesn’t have a vice president. The interior minister wouldassume power for up to 60 days if a president dies, until lawmakers appoint an interim leader. Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero will serve as AMLO’s deputy at his daily press conferences while he recovers, the presidenttweeted.

AMLO suffered a heart attack in 2013, which he has saidwas caused by arterial hypertension. He exhibited mild Covid symptoms on Sunday and is now in the care of Health Minister Jorge Alcocer, according to Jose Luis Alomia, a ministry official.

Biden Call

The president held a telephone conversation Friday with U.S. President Joe Biden in Monterrey, and also attended events in the state of San Luis Potosi over the weekend. AMLO, who has largely refused to wear masks during the pandemic, was pictured during the call at a table next to his Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and former Chief of Staff Alfonso Romo, both also without masks.

This past week, Mexico reported two days of record increases in deaths due to the virus, registering a high on Thursday of 1,803 fatalities. The country reported 1.76 million cases and 149,614 deaths as of Sunday evening.

Christmas celebrations are believed to have contributed to the recent surge, while the nation’s vaccination campaign has suffered delays. Meanwhile, the president has pledged government austerity, declining to implement any large-scale stimulus amid the outbreak.

The nationalist leader has kept up a heavy travel schedule during the pandemic and flies economy class. AMLO is known to remain standing for up to three hours daily, as he answers questions at his morning press briefings.

AMLO has declined to get vaccinated against Covid-19 until late February, when others in his age group are scheduled for the shots.

— With assistance by Andrea Navarro

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