Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a series of tweets, the 67-year-old said that he is receiving medical treatment for the condition.
López Obrador did not disclose the nature of the treatment he is receiving, but emphasized that his symptoms are currently mild. In his tweets, he expressed optimism over his condition and stated that he would not delay a scheduled phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday about the acquisition of Russian-made COVID vaccines for Mexico, which has thus far relied upon the U.S.-based Pfizer vaccine.
Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik V, has yet to be approved for use in Mexico, but the country intends to use it to fill supply gaps from its current use of the Pfizer vaccine. According to Yahoo News, Mexico has received 766,530 doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, which represents only half of the vaccines Mexico ordered from the company. Pfizer has said that it is unable to send 1.5 million vaccines to Mexico by the end of January, because the European manufacturing plant producing the vaccines is currently undergoing renovations to increase its production capacity.
The New York Times reports that Mexico, which has a population of 130 million, has recorded a high of 1.7 million COVID-19 cases and close to 150,000 deaths as of the weekend. Unlike the United States, Mexico only tests people for COVID-19 when they display significant symptoms.
López Obrador previously declined to be vaccinated, stating that he did not want to jump ahead of the line. His diagnosis comes two days after he spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden.
According to a readout of the two leaders' conversation, 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 informed López Obrador that he intended to undo former President Trump’s strict immigration policies.
“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,” stated the White House.