AMLO and a pandemic full of contradictions
For the First Lady's birthday yesterday, Mexico’s President and his wife decided to go out and celebrate at El Cardenal restaurant.
We must "move towards the new normal, taking care of ourselves and with social distance," said the president without wearing a mask, in a video posted yesterday, taken from a restaurant in downtown Mexico City, where everyone but him is following sanitary protocols.
Salí con Beatriz a comer a El Cardenal. Los dueños han resistido la crisis sin despedir a los trabajadores. Muchos empresarios han actuado con solidaridad. Gracias. pic.twitter.com/Ovkq9mBS8U
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) July 13, 2020
But, if there is one thing that has been constant in the handling of the pandemic in Mexico, it’s that it has been full of contradictions.
The video was posted on the president’s Twitter account just a couple of days after the assistant secretary of health, Hugo Lopez Gatell, questioned the rushed reopening in some states in a conference over the weekend.
While the health secretary asked people to remain home, the president, without following health measures, invited people to be brave and go out.
Confusion is mounting as the government continues to send mixed messages.
Whom should we listen to?
It’s clear that two issues collide: Economy vs. Heath.
On one hand, the economic downturn, with unemployment statistics not seen since the 1994 crisis, on the other, COVID-19 deaths and contagion that is on the rise.
And the collisions and contradictions don’t stop there.
While the OMS established that the pandemic hasn’t been eradicated and that it could be extended to October, AMLO stated that it’s been “tamed” and has “lost its strength.”
While AMLO congratulated the restaurant El Cardenal and other businesses that, despite three months closed, have overcome the pandemic without dismissing employees, people continue to ask for the financial aid and the economic support offered to small and medium enterprises back when the lockdown started.
While the orange light is questioned for its lack of effectiveness and the relaxation of certain sanitary measures, Mexico’s president goes out to celebrate his wife’s birthday without wearing a mask, as has been a constant for him throughout the pandemic.
While the pandemic has been at its peak for several weeks now and the accuracy of the data is still lacking, the unemployment rate reached 25%, leaving more than 12 million people without a job so far this year.
While fake news is constant and people's misinformation runs rampant, the government keeps contradicting itself.
The truth here is that the rushed reopening is an attempt to curb an economic downslide. However, it’s taking place during the peak of a global pandemic with Mexico entering the top 4 countries with most deaths, reaching over 36,000 deaths.
"Don't lose faith," AMLO said to the Mexican people in a recent video.
The only thing they’ve had in these uncertain times of contradiction is just that, faith.