López-Gatell was photographed over the weekend at what seems to be an oceanfront restaurant within the Mexican state of Oaxaca, within the tourist-friendly seaside city of Zipolite. The photographs rapidly went viral on social media.
He will be seen sharing a desk with a lady. He will not be carrying a masks, which isn’t required whereas seated in eating places allowed to be open.
Another viral photograph from just a few days earlier additionally confirmed López-Gatell in an airplane aisle utilizing his cellular phone, his masks pulled down beneath his nostril and chin.
Traveling all through Mexico is essentially unrestricted in the intervening time, so the deputy well being minister did nothing unlawful by touring, although he flouted his personal steering and that of native officers.
Many in Mexico are furious on the obvious hypocrisy of the Johns Hopkins-trained epidemiologist, whose message of Quédate en casa, or Stay at Home, has turn into a family phrase. Since the beginning of the pandemic, López-Gatell has held nightly press conferences extensively broadcast in Mexico, through which he urges individuals to correctly put on masks and follow social distancing.
Online, individuals expressed anger that López-Gatell would journey at a time when medical personnel are below such pressure. “When thousands of doctors haven’t seen their families in Mexico or have died, when tens of thousands of health professionals can’t dream of taking vacation, comes a photo,” wrote Xavier Tello, a Mexico City well being coverage analyst.
In hard-hit Mexico City, almost 30 public hospitals report they’ve reached 100% % capability, whereas many others are approaching that mark. The metropolis returned to Red Alert, the nation’s highest coronavirus warning indicator, greater than two weeks in the past. That compelled many companies to quickly shut amidst a mandate to stop all non-essential exercise till at the least Sunday. And but the deputy well being secretary traveled from Mexico City anyway.
A Mexican authorities supply confirmed the authenticity of the photographs. The Health Ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark however López Gatell is anticipated to handle the incident at a press convention Monday night time at 8pm EST.
Newly confirmed deaths and instances have risen steadily all through the nation since early October, with latest every day numbers among the highest of the pandemic. More than 127,000 individuals have been killed by the virus.
Asked about Lopez Gatell’s travels, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned reporters ought to direct these inquiries to the deputy secretary however appeared to justify the journey.
“He has been working extremely hard, he has been fulfilling his responsibilities,” mentioned López Obrador. “It’s good there is such public scrutiny, but public servants have rights too.”