MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday he does not plan to get tested for the novel coronavirus, one day after the announcement that a high-ranking member of his administration he'd recently been in contact with was infected.
Zoé Robledo, director of Mexico’s social security system, announced Sunday night that he had tested positive, two days after he appeared with López Obrador at an event in the Tabasco state capital of Villahermosa. The president’s security cabinet had also been present during that eventt
“I’m not going to do the test because I don’t have symptoms,” López Obrador said Monday. “Fortunately, I’m well and take care of myself, keep a safe distance.”
López Obrador returned to the capital Sunday after a weeklong tour of the country’s southeast. He used the trip to kick off construction of a tourist train, one of his signature projects, and to illustrate the government’s efforts to reactivate the economy.
Some criticized the trip as risky and as sending the wrong message while Mexico’s infections continue to peak. López Obrador had initially planned to fly the first leg to Cancun, but ended up driving the entire way.
López Obrador said no one else on the trip had fallen ill, but said he is reconsidering his next scheduled trip the coming week. He also raised the possibility of a videoconference rather than a White House visit when the new free trade agreement with the United States and Canada takes effect July 1.
López Obrador said the Washington visit wasn’t confirmed yet. “It could be done in a videoconference. That possibility exists to not have to travel,” he said.
In late April, Mexico’s comptroller was infected and in early May, the head of the country’consumer protection office said he had tested positive.
Later Monday, the social security agency said in a statement that three other top administrators had tested positive, but were asymptomatic.
Mexico has now seen over 120,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,053 deaths, and officials acknowledge the real numbers are higher and that Mexico is experiencing its highest level of contagion yet.