Mexico Facing Scrutiny Over Coronavirus Response

America’s neighbor to the south is facing scrutiny from international media over its response — or lack thereof — to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been slammed for disregarding his own government’s social distancing guidelines to stem the growing coronavirus pandemic: AMLO, as he is called, has continued to hold mass rallies where he shakes hands and even greets supporters with hugs and kisses,” Yahoo! reported.

Even the country’s former president Felipe Calderón criticized AMLO on Twitter, saying that he should not be around large crowds even if he is healthy, because he “could be a source of contagion. … If out of 300 people he greets, one is infected, he can infect the rest of the healthy people.”

The country has implemented its own social distancing policies called “Sana Distancia” or “Healthy Distance” and plans to cancel school beginning next week.

But many believe that Mexico, which has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19, is simply not taking the virus seriously.

“Mexico is not ready for the coronavirus. Just look at AMLO’s behavior,” read a Washington Post headline.

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NBC ran a similar headline, which said “Mexico’s López Obrador ripped for touching people, holding rallies.”

In that story, the cable news outlet quoted Carlos Loret De Mola, a Mexican journalist who writes for El Universal, Mexico’s largest newspaper.

Loret De Mola ripped AMLO, saying that regardless of his flippant attitude towards the virus, the rest of the world is responding accordingly, and that he should take note.

“For the world, for Mexican society and even for his own Cabinet, the president has been overruled,” Loret De Mola said.

Others believe that the World Health Organization (WHO) should step in on Mexico’s behalf.

“If the World Health Organization has any spine, it should call out Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador among the leaders who have displayed the most reckless behavior amid the pandemic,” said an opinion column in The Miami Herald.

Meanwhile, the United States has taken some measures to secure its borders.

Wednesday morning, President Donald J. Trump closed the northern border with Mexico after coming to a mutual agreement with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The United States has also barred entry for asylum seekers and illegal aliens, immediately returning them the closest port of entry instead of following the normal protocol, which is to detain them while an immigration hearing is scheduled, and then send them to remain in Mexico while awaiting that hearing.

The border with Mexico is still not officially closed, and U.S. and Mexican citizens are free to move between the two nations.


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