Yet the government has refused to take the threat seriously. Late last week, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was mobbed by supporters at the Hermosillo airport before flying to Acapulco to speak at a banker’s conference and then hold a series of campaign-style rallies in the region. As recently as last week, López Obrador was dismissing the need for caution with statements like, “You have to hug, nothing is going to happen.”
The president has apparently taken his own advice. Video circulated on social media over the weekend showing López Obrador embracing and kissing supporters at a rally, where he declared, “The misfortunes, the pandemics… are not going to do anything to us.”
All of the confirmed cases in Mexico so far have come from travelers arriving from Italy, Spain, and the United States, yet López Obrador’s administration has imposed no international travel restrictions nor taken any steps to tighten the border. According to one news report, passengers on a flight that arrived Friday in Mexico City from Spain—which imposed sweeping emergency restrictions over the weekend in response to a surging death toll—passed through passport control and customs with no health surveys or temperature screenings.