Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro has accused Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell of allocating a “red light” to his state on the federal government’s coronavirus risk “stoplight” map because “he felt like it.”
Jalisco is one of nine states that will switch from “orange light” high risk to “red light” maximum risk on Monday, joining nine states that are already red.
In a Twitter post on Friday night, Alfaro claimed that the decision to revert Jalisco to red was politically motivated.
“There are things that have no remedy. Hugo López-Gatell is continuing with his political agenda. His impulses have already cost Mexico a lot of lives. He doesn’t understand that the pandemic is a serious matter. We take one step forward and he takes it upon himself to spoil everything again,” he wrote.
Alfaro also claimed that the deputy minister, the government’s coronavirus point man, changed the criteria for determining which stoplight color each state would be allocated without advising governors.
“He puts us in red because he feels like it,” he wrote. In a separate tweet, Alfaro claimed that there are people within the federal cabinet who are continuing to seek “confrontation” with his government.
Jalisco’s regression to “red light” status came a week after the governor himself warned that he would shut down the state economy if coronavirus cases and hospital admissions continued to increase.
The western state has recorded 10,075 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the federal government, but the Jalisco government’s coronavirus website says twice that number — 21,541 cases — had been detected as of Friday.
Meanwhile, Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López also expressed discontent with López-Gatell, asserting that he has presented incorrect coronavirus data for the Gulf coast state.
The governor was caught on video making the remark Friday during a visit to a temporary hospital.
“I told the president yesterday that I can’t [put up] with Gatell. I don’t know where he gets some of his numbers from,” Governor López said.
Tabasco has recorded more than 16,500 confirmed Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and 1,546 deaths. The state currently has the lowest availability of general care hospital beds in the country, with 85% already in use.