Mexico’s president has mentioned he’ll solely put on a masks when the nation eradicates corruption – a pledge made the day after Mexico surpassed the UK in complete Covid-19 deaths.
Chatting with reporters on Friday morning, Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned: “You understand once I’m going to placed on a masks? When there isn’t a corruption. Then I’ll placed on a masks and I’ll cease speaking.”
Like his populist counterparts Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump, the president, popularly often called Amlo, has appeared skeptical over masks for the reason that begin of the coronavirus pandemic. He has by no means inspired mask-wearing, and has solely worn a masks in public when obliged to as a result of he was taking a industrial flight.
Requested on Friday a couple of risk from opposition politicians to hunt an injunction forcing him to put on a masks, Amlo mentioned: “Let’s make that deal. So let’s hurry up and finish corruption in order that I placed on a masks and not converse.”
Given the extent to which corruption is entrenched in Mexico’s politics, enterprise and each day life, some Mexicans interpreted the president’s response to imply he gained’t ever willingly put on a masks.
Because the first coronavirus circumstances have been detected in Mexico, Amlo has usually conflated public well being recommendation with petty politics and used his each day morning press conferences to troll opponents as a lot as inform the nation.
He has supplied homespun recommendation for avoiding the virus: shed some pounds, eschew junk meals and discover spirituality – to call however three nuggets.
Different senior functionaries have additionally equivocated on mask-wearing. Hugo López-Gatell, the nation’s verbose Covid-19 tsar, has supplied sophisticated responses to seemingly easy questions on the efficacy of utilizing face coverings.
As in Brazil and the US, sporting a masks has assumed cultural and political connotations in Mexico – the place opinions on Amlo are deeply polarised.
“The face masks has been politicized right here the identical means it has within the US and the UK, amongst different international locations,” mentioned Rodolfo Soriano-Núñez, a sociologist in Mexico Metropolis.
Soriano-Núñez mentioned that whereas in the US refusing to put on masks is seen as a method to provoke liberals, in Mexico, it’s seen as a method to “personal the luxury crowd” as Amlo describes his opponents.
On Thursday, Mexico’s Covid-19 dying toll topped 46,000 fatalities. That grim tally moved it previous the UK into third on the listing of nations with the worst dying tolls.