During the early stages of the pandemic, Mexico managed to go almost unscathed, but things have changed rather dramatically over the last few months.
Now, Mexico has the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths in world, having surpassed the United Kingdom, but Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell is refusing calls from state governors for him to resign, according to a report from the Associated Press.
In recent weeks, Mexico has set a series of new daily highs for confirmed cases of COVID-19, something that has raised concern among government leaders.
Perhaps even more alarming to those officials, though, is the fact the country is continuously posting new highs when it comes to virus-related deaths.
With 47,472 fatalities now on record, a group of governors issued a letter calling for the immediate resignation of López-Gatell, but as the AP reported, he informed them that he had no intention whatsoever of stepping down.
In response to the letter from the governors, López-Gatell stated, “I express my respect. I hope we can continue to work together.”
Confusion amid pandemic
The situation in Mexico now sadly mirrors that of countless other countries around the world over the course of the pandemic.
The Mexican economy continues to be hit hard by the effects of varying degrees of lockdowns, not to mention inconsistent guidance from the government on what is considered safe and what is not.
Mexico has seemingly tried to keep certain areas and economic endeavors open and operating during the pandemic, a strategy that did not earn the support of many of the state governors who are now calling for López-Gatell to leave his post.
Reports indicate that the federal government in Mexico has provided often-conflicting advice about the necessity for social distancing and other coronavirus precautions and has applied inconsistent criteria for when certain business sectors would be allowed to resume operation and to what degree.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, like Trump, has expressed an aversion to wearing a mask unless absolutely necessary, and has done so in public fashion.
When he was recently criticized for not wearing a mask, López Obrador sarcastically responded, “I will use a face mask when there is no more corruption.”