Tuesday, March 5, 2024

‘This is about saving lives not playing politics:’ coronavirus czar says he won’t resign

Coronavirus czar Hugo López-Gatell said Friday he won’t resign as deputy health minister after opposition politicians called for his dismissal.

“I am committed to Mexico. I will not resign,” López-Gatell, who has a doctorate in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University, told reporters at the Tabasco airport yesterday, just before his evening coronavirus press conference. “This is not about playing politics, it is about saving lives and protecting people,” he said. 

His statements come after politicians from three parties demanded that he be ousted from his position as head of prevention and health promotion and chief strategist for the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We come to do technical work. We are technical officials dedicated to public health, and we come to do that work. The government of Mexico and President López Obrador have made it very clear since this pandemic began that in Mexico health decisions are made with technical and scientific criteria, and that’s our commitment,” he told journalists. 

Leaders of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) the Citizens’ Movement (MC) and the National Action Party (PAN) have all asked for his resignation claiming that he has failed at managing the pandemic.

As of Friday, Mexico had registered 378,285 cases of the coronavirus, 7,573 more than on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Health. 

In addition, 737 people died during that 24-hour period, bringing the death toll to 42,645. 

Source: El Financiero (sp), El Economista (sp) 

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Take a visual tour of the country with this selection of photos highlighting the events of the week in Mexico, from the everyday to the exceptional.