Dr. López-Gatell is sending worrying signals

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Dr. López-Gatell is sending worrying signals
Hugo López-Gatell is the epidemiologist in charge of tacking COVID-19 — Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL
English 12/07/2020 11:40 Mexico City Off the Record Actualizada 11:40

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Dr. López-Gatell is sending worrying signals
We’ve been told senators and lawmakers noticed Dr. Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s COVID-19 czar, blamed the increase in contagions on state governments. The doctor made these comments after the World Health organization said Mexico resumed its activities and reopened the country too soon. Before the possibility of an even more tortuous economic revival, we’ve been told that senator Ricardo Monreal considers that it is time to start debating financial aid for those who are unemployed and independent workers who have no income sources. Until now, the ruling party avoided these issues.

COVID-19 numbers are confusing 
Although the federal government has emphasized that it informs everything regarding the COVID-19 pandemic with transparency, it seems like numbers are becoming increasingly problematic. Last Monday, the Health Ministry modified its news conference and it no longer presents the total contagion, suspected cases, and death numbers; instead, it presents percentage rates. As if this wasn’t enough, yesterday the Communication department announced that it would upload the information at 8 PM, once the news conference is over. Is this a new strategy to avoid questions regarding totals and estimates during the conference?

López Obrador and Trump wore face masks
The news that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wore a face mask during his trip to visit U.S. President Donald Trump spread fast, especially because this is the first time he wore a mask in public. The Mexican President was previously criticized for not wearing a mask in public places. Now, months after ignoring the suggestion, Donald Trump also wore a mask. Was this a coincidence? Did López Obrador inspire Trump? Did they saw similarities in the way COVID-19 behaves in their countries and were forced to change their attitudes? Only time will tell, especially if they stop wearing face masks.

Will Mexico modify its expenditure budget?
On July 22, the lower chamber will host the second special session to appoint four new INE counselors, although the lawmakers might also include bills to cancel 44 trust funds, and President López Obrador’s proposal to modify up to 10% of the expenditure budget amid the pandemic and economic crisis. Furthermore, some opposition members agree with including these issues but want to see the reforms proposed by Morena and its allies before discussing them.