By RICARDO CASTILLO
Contrary to what is happening in the United States, where the White House is downsizing the extent of covid-19 and the disparaging the image of the country’s coronavirus czar, Anthony Faucet, here in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) on Tuesday, July 14, reiterated his support Health Undersecretary and chief epidemiologist Hugo Lopez-Gatell.
AMLO’s backing came after López-Gatell made his daily television appearance – Sundays included – to inform the nation of the government’s version on the state of the four-month-long partial lockdown due to the growing pandemic.
Meanwhile on daily basis, former Mexican Public Health officials — particularly Julio Frenk and Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg — batter on in the Mexican press and on television on the government’s mismanagement of the crisis, claiming they could do better or that the government’s approach is outright wrong.
Frank served as secretary of health under former President Vicente Fox, and Chertorivski was Mexico City health secretary from 2011 to 2012.
The fact is that López Gatell has gained great popularity in some circles, but also, with Mexico being a mission impossible to garner serious figures from state governments, he has given out on several occasions released inaccurate statistics.
Notwithstanding, during his daily press conference at the National Palace, AMLO said: “I support Hugo López Gatell.”
The president then proceeded to attack the Mexican press in general, asking: “Do you know what they (the press) want? That we don’t inform the public. But they are not going to get their wish for López-Gatell not to show up any more. So they can go ahead with their disinformation, manipulation, yellow journalism. The fact is we will keep informing.”
Because there was no available info from several states, López-Gatell was unable on Monday, July 13, to issue the traffic light report for those states and the nation is currently operating in accordance with last week’s report.
Enter Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero, who said that she was approached by several governors – as protocol demands – to make the traffic reports every two weeks instead of weekly, claiming “it would be easier for them.”
In the meantime, the press continues to blast López-Gatell.
Then again, this is what having too much exposure – and talking too much – will do for a doctor who claims he is not a politician.
AMLO to Visit Three States
AMLO is slated to visit the central Mexican state of Guanajuato on Wednesday, July 15, Michoacán on Thursday, July 16, and Jalisco on Friday, July 17.
In Guanajuato, he will meet with Governor Diego Sinhué Rodríguez Vallejo to discuss what can be done about the exponential surge of criminal violence in that state.
Rodriguez said last week that AMLO has “politicized” the numerous criminal incidents in the state.
In Michoacán, AMLO will meet with Silvano Aureoles Conejo and in Jalisco with Enrique Alfaro Ramírez.
The common denominator of these three governors is that they belong to different political parties from the president.
A Buyer for the Presidential Plane?
National Works and Services Bank (Banobras) Director Jorge Mendoza Sánchez announced that, as of last April, an unnamed buyer has offered $120 million to buy Mexico’s grounded presidential airplane, to be paid part in cash and part in medical supplies.
On a related note, National Lottery Director Ernesto Prieto Ortega said that the raffle that is called “the presidential plane” but does not actually entail the raffling of the jet, is still on for next Sept, 15, and thus far, his office has sold 1.355 million “cachitos,” or tickets, bringing in 677.5 million pesos as of July 10.
Sales were suspended for two months because of the pandemic, but they are now on again.
Each ticket costs 500 pesos.
It is now public knowledge that former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Director Emilio Lozoya negotiated his extradition from Spain to Mexico, limiting the number of subjects he will discuss to those related to the Enrique Peña Nieto administration’s participation in the Odebrecht corruption scandal.
In addition, he will not discuss his own participation in the purchase by Pemex of junk fertilizer production plant Agronitrogenados from Alonso Ancira, who is still pending an extradition approval from a Spanish court.
It is also said that Lozoya managed to ensure that he will stay out of jail by being “quarantined” at the Military Camp Hospital in Mexico City.
By so doing, the AMLO administration will manage to avoid many hot issues involved and focus solely into bringing to trial “persons of relevance,” with no names mentioned.
Sports: González Suspension
Mexico’s 20-kilometer racewalker Olympic medalist Lupita González is facing a second suspension by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for allegedly forging documents.
She was first suspended after winning silver in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics for testing positive fors trenbolone – an anabolic steroid.
At that time, she pleaded innocent on grounds that the substance showed up in her metabolism after eating beef in Mexico.
The Tribunal for Arbitration in Sports (TAS) rejected her plea and issued a four-year suspension as of 2016.
“In addition, the AIU has now charged the athlete with a second violation for tampering as a result of her submitting forged documents and fabricated evidence, and for procuring false witness testimony in the course of the proceedings before the Disciplinary Tribunal for the first violation,” the TAS said in a tweet.
…July 15, 2020