Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, has been the main spokesperson for the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico since it began in late February 2020. He is currently in the eye of the hurricane for having traveled to Oaxaca to celebrate the end of the year with family and friends.
Images showing him without a mask in a restaurant quickly went viral. The criticisms were not long in coming, including those of the journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva who recommended to the undersecretary that “he pick up the pencils and leave.”
First the journalist highlighted the recent case of the Minister of Finance of Ontario, Canada, Rod Phillips, who would have claimed that he was in quarantine when in fact he had traveled on vacation to the island of St, Barts in the Caribbean.
The journalist stressed about the sanitary restrictions of each country that “One supposes they would have to be complied with, before anyone else, by public servants.”
The Canadian official resigned. But above all, Gómez Leyva stressed that this happened in a country where there are 43 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. However, in Mexico “the man who has told us ad nauseam ‘stay home’, ‘stay home’ did not. He did not stay at home ”, he lashed out at the official.
He accepted that, as López-Gatell explained, this trip did not break any of the administrative measures dictated by the Ministry of Health. “He will always say that he did the right thing and that he took advantage of these days to rest.”
During the day of his vacation, the journalist recalled, between two and three thousand people died from COVID-19. “For that reason alone, Dr. López-Gatell could have been more prudentBut it is not, nor has it been, nor, apparently, will be, ”he said.
He stressed that if modesty existed in the Mexican government, the person in charge of the pandemic would not go on vacation. He assured that the official underestimates the pandemic even when Mexico is around 130,000 deaths for the disease.
If there were professional honor, Dr. López-Gatell would have to resign.
For the communicator, the undersecretary is warned “Immune to ridicule and disaster.”
He assured that for the good of all and in the absence of clinical and ethical results from the government:
For the good of all, pick up the pencils and go, Doctor, because the pandemic still has long months to go
Another figure who has strongly criticized López-Gatell’s trip was Victor Trujillo, better known as “Brozo”. When the images were released, he used his Twitter account to lash out at the official.
“No nothing happens. Tomorrow the president defends me, cheers me up, and at seven I get angry with the media … Another michelada? ” Trujillo wrote on his Twitter account.
For his part, the undersecretary assured in a press conference that he had nothing to hide, that he had traveled to Oaxaca to rest and spend the end of the year holidays with his relatives. But, he stressed, it was a meeting in which all preventive measures to avoid COVID-19 infections were taken into consideration.
“I went to visit very close relatives”: López-Gatell clarified why he went to Zipolite in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic
“Nothing happens, in the morning the president defends me”: the defiant response of “Brozo” to the photos of López Gatell on the beach
New Zealand and Canada: the countries where officials have resigned when caught on the beach, like López-Gatell