Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 67, said on Sunday evening that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and that he was receiving medical treatment.
The Mexican president, who posted the development to Twitter, didn’t say what type of treatment he was receiving but emphasized that his symptoms were mild in nature. Lopez Obrador also said he was “optimistic” as usual and would still be taking a scheduled phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about possibly acquiring COVID-19 vaccines for the country, which has been relying on the Pfizer vaccine.
While the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, has not been approved for use in Mexico, The Associated Press reports that the country is “desperate to fill supply gaps” from the Pfizer vaccine. Yahoo News reports that Mexico had received 766,350 vaccines from Pfizer, a figure that represents half the vaccines Mexico was originally expecting from Pfizer by the end of the month. (Pfizer says they can no longer send 1.5 million vaccines to the country by the end of January because a European manufacturing plant is undergoing renovations to increase COVID-19 vaccine production.)
According to The New York Times, Mexico, a country of nearly 130 million, has recorded 1.7 million COVID-19 cases and 149,084 deaths as of Saturday. Although Mexico only tests people for COVID-19 when they display significant symptoms, Lopez Obrador receives testing weekly, reports AP. He has also declined to be vaccinated, saying he doesn’t want to jump ahead of others in line for it.
Lopez Obrador’s COVID-19 diagnosis comes only two days after he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden in what was one of Biden’s first conversations with a foreign leader since taking the oath of office and assuming the presidency on Wednesday afternoon.
According to a readout statement from the White House, Biden “outlined his plan to reduce migration by addressing its root causes, increasing resettlement capacity and lawful alternative immigration pathways, improving processing at the border to adjudicate requests for asylum.” Biden also said he would reverse the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling them “draconian.”
“The two leaders agreed to work closely to stem the flow of irregular migration to Mexico and the United States, as well as to promote development in the Northern Triangle of Central America. They also recognized the importance of coordination to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the White House readout statement.
Biden has also spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
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