President López Obrador has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time in less than a year.
He announced Monday evening that he was infected, adding that he would remain in isolation even though he was only experiencing mild symptoms.
“I’ll only carry out office work and communicate virtually until I get through [my illness],” López Obrador wrote on social media.
“Meanwhile, Interior Minister Adán Augusto López Hernández will represent me at the [morning] press conferences and at other ceremonies,” he wrote.
The 68-year-old, who has received three shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said Monday morning that he had woken up “hoarse” but expressed doubt that he had COVID.
López Obrador also tested positive for COVID-19 in late January 2021. The president, who takes medication for high blood pressure and suffered a heart attack in 2013, was treated with the antiviral medication Remdesivir.
Interior Minister López presided over AMLO’s regular news conference on Tuesday morning despite being in close contact with the president on Monday. He was one of several officials who met with López Obrador at the National Palace on Monday, the newspaper Milenio reported.
The president met last week with Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier, who announced Friday that she had tested positive for COVID. Environment Minister María Luisa Albores announced Monday that she had tested positive as well.
On Tuesday, cabinet ministers awaiting their turn at the podium sported face masks, a rare sight, while many of the government personnel who staff the daily press conferences appeared wearing masks for the first time. Unlike other government and public facilities, COVID protocols such as taking temperatures and offering hand gel have been largely ignored at the president’s daily mañaneras.
Meanwhile, political friends and foes of the president took to social media to wish him well after he announced that he had contracted COVID.
“I send you a caring hug from a distance. I hope that you get better soon because we’re standing before a great transformation, a great future, a strengthened and extraordinary Mexican nation that you lead,” wrote Senator Olga Sánchez, the former interior minister who took charge of the president’s press conferences when he was sick early last year.
“I sincerely wish you well,” wrote former president Felipe Calderón, an outspoken critic of the president.
Among the other political figures to send their best wishes to AMLO were Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, Morena party Senate leader Ricardo Monreal, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell, former president Vicente Fox and 2018 presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya.
López Obrador’s illness comes as Mexico endures an omicron-fueled fourth wave of coronavirus infections. There are currently more than 157,000 active cases across the country, according to Health Ministry estimates.
With reports from Milenio