President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has tested positive for COVID-19, this according to the Associated Press.
López Obrador confirmed his diagnosis on Twitter Sunday evening (Jan. 24). “I regret to inform you that I am infected with COVID-19,” he wrote. “The symptoms are mild, but I am already under medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic.”
Over the last 10 months, López Obrador has been criticized for not taking the global pandemic seriously. The 67-year-old president has rarely been seen wearing a mask and has not cut back on traveling. In fact, when asked last year how the Mexican government was protecting its citizens, he pointed to amulets in his wallet he called a “protective shield.”
“The protective shield is the ‘Get thee behind me, Satan,’” López Obrador read from the inscription on one of the amulets. “Stop, enemy, for the Heart of Jesus is with me.”
On Friday (Jan. 22), López Obrador shared a photo on social media of him and his team, including foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and former chief of staff Alfonso Romo, sitting at a table, all without masks, speaking to U.S. President Joe Biden by speaker phone.
Mexico has experienced close to 150,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 1.7 million total infections. Last week, the country recorded its highest levels of infections and deaths since the pandemic began.
Other Latin American presidents who have been infected by COVID-19 and recovered include Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, Honduras’ Juan Orlando Hernández, Guatemala’s Alejandro Giammattei and Bolivia’s then-interim President Jeanine Ánéz.