Mexico president refuses to wear a mask after recovering from COVID-19

Mexican President López Obrador refuses to wear a mask even after catching and recovering from COVID because he claims doctors told him he’s ‘not contagious’

  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador refused to use a face mask during his first press conference Monday after recovering from COVID-19
  • López Obrador was diagnosed with the coronavirus January 24 after getting off a commercial airplane upon his return to Mexico City
  • The president claimed he won’t wear one because doctors told him that he is ‘not contagious’  
  • Mexico is the third worst country in the world for coronavirus deaths, with 166,731, and had reported 1,936,013 cases

Mexico’s president is refusing to wear a face mask despite catching coronavirus and recovering, because he claims he was told he is ‘not contagious.’ 

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus and refused to wear a mask, caught the virus last month.

The 61-year-old has reportedly since recovered, and on Monday held his first news conference since testing positive on January 24. During the event, he brushed aside repeated questions from reporters about whether he would wear a mask to help contain the spread of the virus.

‘There is no authoritarianism in Mexico … everything is voluntary, liberty is the most important thing,’ López Obrador said. ‘It is each person’s own decision.’ 


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday gave his daily morning press conference following a two-week absence after he tested positive for coronavirus at the National Palace in Mexico City. The 61-year-old is declining to use a face mask as preventive measure against a virus that as of Tuesday had killed 166,731 people in Mexico, the world’s third-highest death toll, according to data from John Hopkins University 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador seen boarding a commercial flight in San Luis Potosí the morning of January 24 before returning to Mexico City and announcing later in the evening that he had tested positive for the coronavirus

When first asked on Monday whether he would set an example by wearing a mask, López Obrador skipped the question and instead launched into a polemic about his adversaries trying to thwart him, in spite of widespread support from top officials and the public for the measure.

López Obrador said he was administered experimental treatments, which he described only as an ‘antiviral’ medication and an anti-inflammatory drug. 

He claimed he would not use a face mask because ‘according to what the doctors say, now I’m not contagious.’ 

Despite his prompt recovery, López Obrador runs the risk of possibly being reinfected.

A study by the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Springs, Maryland, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, discovered that among young Marine Corps recruits who had previously tested positive, more than 10 percent had a second positive test during a six-week follow-up.

Additionally, the group that became infected again had lower antibody levels than those who were infected for the first time and most lacked detectable neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19, according to the study published published on the pre-print site 

A patient infected with COVID-19 is covered with a capsule while being admitted into the emergency wing of 21st Century National Medical Center in Mexico City. The pandemic has killed more that 166,000 people in the country

Unlike many of his top officials, López Obrador has shunned face masks throughout the pandemic. Critics believe he is unwilling to do anything that might make him look like he was being muzzled.

The leader tested positive for coronavirus after he had gotten off a commercial flight in Mexico City following a three-day tour throughout the nation. 

The 61-year-old, who has high blood pressure and had surgery after a heart attack in December 2013, experienced light COVID-19 symptoms and quarantined at the National Palace while carrying out his daily duties.

A woman adjusts a face mask on a girl’s face outside Zone 32 General Hospital in Mexico City Despite residents adhering to measures that require the use of facial covering in public and private settings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Monday that he will not use a face mask, just two weeks after he tested positive for the coronavirus

Despite Mexico’s dearth of vaccines – the country hasn’t received new shipments in weeks, and is down to its last 55,000 doses – López Obrador repeated his faith that the country will get enough vaccines from Pfizer, Russia, China and India to vaccinate all Mexicans over the age of 60 by the end of March.   

However, López Obrador’s attitude goes against the grain of Mexican public opinion, which is overwhelmingly of the view that wearing one is useful, polls show.

Following the president’s positive diagnosis, some Mexicans said they thought he could have avoided getting infected had he worn a mask and respected social-distancing measures more.

But López Obrador praised his government for not imposing stricter curbs to contain the virus, which as of Tuesday had killed 166,731 people in Mexico, the world’s third-highest death toll, according to data from John Hopkins University.

Mexico has registered 1,936,013 confirmed cases. 

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