By RICARDO CASTILLO
The Mexican Public Health Secretariat on Monday, Jan. 25, published in the Official Gazette the ordinance outlining the purchase of covid-19 vaccines by private citizens, companies and state governments.
No doubt, the announcement was rushed to the government’s newspaper spurred on by the announcement that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was buying 24 million doses from Russian President Vladimir Putin, after a friendly phone call, also Monday.
Purchases of the controversial Sputnik 5 vaccine, however, have been going on in Mexico for weeks while Phase 3 tests of the drug are still going on in the northern state of Nuevo León, specifically Monterrey.
In Jalapa, the state capital of Veracruz, pharmaceutical distributor Alejandro Cossío Hernández announced last week that he had signed a contract with Russian government officials to purchase vaccines
In fact, Cossío went so far as to say that Nuevo León Governor Jaime “El Bronco” Rodríguez had committed to purchase 300,000 of the alleged 2 million doses he had purchased.
Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund denied any relation with that purchase.
But what is a fact is that Mexico’s covid-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell visited Argentina during the first week of January to witness firsthand the application of the vaccine.
As an aggregate to that, Argentine President Alberto Fernández publicly received an injection of the Sputnik vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 21.
Cossío was accused by critics of bluffing about his vaccine purchase, to which he retorted,“even if I was the biggest liar, the fact is that this (his purchase of Sputnik V vaccines) helped to have a presidential order so vaccines can be bought directly, making it a blessed lie.”
“I have no politically vested interests,” Cossío said.
“I am a businessman and I have obtained a commitment for a contract of 1.8 million doses. So people got angry because I made that contract public, but I don’t have anyone to please. I am just a pharmaceutical distributor.”
As for a denial by El Bronco that he had agreed to purchase vaccines from Cossío, the drug distributor just quipped, “If Nuevo León is not interested in the 300 shots I have left, I have requests from other states that have already sent us their purchase commitment letters,” including the Veracruz state government.
Cóssio added that he had gone to Miami to sign the contract, but maybe the problem was that he had also signed a letter of confidentiality with the sellers.
“But I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cossío said. “We’re just waiting for approval from Cofepris (the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks) to start distribution within Mexico.”
Carlos Slim Down with Covid
Mexico’s top tycoon, Carlos Slim Helú, is now recovering from a coronavirus inflection that has been hitting him hard for over a week now.
His eldest son, Carlos Slim Domit, broke the news Monday, Jan. 25, on Twitter.
“What I can sat is that my dad, as a preventive measure, went to the National Nutrition Institute for clinical analysis, monitoring and a timely treatment,” the tweet said.
“He is very well and has shown a favorable evolution to the covid, but he is still suffering from minor symptoms.”
Slim will turn 81-years-old on Thursday, Jan. 28, and is a clear example of the fact that the virus respects no one.
The participation of Twitter director of public policies for Latin America, Hugo Rodríguez Nicolat in the alleged 2006 electoral fraud against López Obrador was investigated by Associated Press reporters.
Their research showed that Nicolat worked for the National Action Party (PAN) from 2006 and 2008 and that there is no record he also worked 10 years for the now-ailing television chain Televisa.
Nicolat denied having participated in “the fraud” or having direct knowledge of the actions of former Mexican Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, as AMLO had alleged.
Twitter Mexico officially pointed out that decisions to purge accounts are “collegiate and based on the platform’s regulations.”
Apparently, AMLO had the wrong guy during his finger-pointing at Rodríguez Nicolat.
Coparmex Changes Course
The new president of the Mexican Employers’ Confederation (Coparmex), José Medina Mora, is attempting to get close to the AMLO administration to help find solutions to the current economic and sanitary crisis the nation is now facing.
Medina Mora’s attitude is a 180-degree reversal of the one held by previous Coparmex President Gustavo de Hoyos Walther, who was always at odds with the president, contradicting all that came out of the National Palace.
“This is a moment for unity, for collaboration with the government,” Medina Mora told reporters on Monday, Jan. 25.
He said he was working on “economic reactivation plans” with Economy Secretary Tatiana Clouthier and Labor Secretary Luisa Maria Alcalde regarding the change in the nation’s employment outsourcing law.
“We have also proposed that we, as employers, can take up the responsibility of applying vaccines to our workers and their families,” Medina Mora said.
That’s no doubt a change of course at Coparmex.
The definite results of the 2020 Census were made public by the National Institute for Geography and Statistics (Inegi).
As of last March 15, Mexico is officially inhabited by 126,014,024 persons, out of which 64,540,634, or 51.2 percent, are women, and 61,473,390, or 48.8 percent, are men.
Mexico’s population grew by 13.7 million from the 2010 Census and the economic growth average for the past decade was 1.2 percent.
Shocker in Chihuahua
Controversial Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral got walloped in the jaw (politically speaking) by the currently-on-sabbatical Chihuahua City mayor, Maria Eugenia Campos Galván, who during the internal National Action Party (PAN) elections for governor on Sunday, Jan. 24, steamrolled over Corral’s favorite appointee, Gustavo Madero.
Maru, as Campos Galván is known, is now the PAN’s official precandidate for governor and the natural party leader in the upcoming election, in which there will be 67 municipalities, 38 state-representatives posts, 67 syndications and 714 posts for municipal councilors at stake.
The political brawl is not over since Corral, hurting badly on his outright rejection by his PAN peers, is planning to file suit against Maru on corruption charges.
But, for sure, the walloping at the PAN internal elections left Corral lying down on the canvas.
Maru is now the favorite among pollsters to win the governor’s seat.
…Jan. 27, 2021