Mexico was the first nation in Latin America to start vaccination towards covid-19 and has already utilized greater than two million doses amongst its 126 million inhabitants.
A yr after the first case of covid-19 was confirmed in Mexico on February 28, 2020, many analyze with the information that we now have what had been the successes and errors of the authorities’s technique.
One in every of the most talked about books in the nation in latest weeks has exactly on its cowl the face of the principal particular person answerable for the coronavirus of the Mexican govt alongside with a title that does not depart detached: “Irreparable injury. The legal administration of the pandemic in Mexico ”.
Its creator is the Mexican Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie, Microbiologist and Physician of Medical Sciences from Harvard College, who harshly criticizes the actions of the Undersecretary of Well being, Hugo López-Gatell, who assures that in these months he has been carried away by standards « extra political than scientific. »
The so-called « coronavirus czar » is reproached for not having had a technique to include infections and guess on the so-called “herd immunity”. The federal government at all times maintained that one in all its goals was to unfold contagions to keep away from saturation of hospitals.
It additionally assaults the authorities’s decision not to set any restrictions on air borders to management the entry of individuals into the nation. The chief insists that the contribution of worldwide vacationers in the improve in circumstances in Mexico is « frankly small. »
BBC Mundo took inventory of this primary yr of the pandemic in Mexico with Ximénez-Fyvie, at present head of the Molecular Genetics laboratory at the School of Dentistry of the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico. (This interview has been edited for size and readability.)
Which its goal to the publish this guide?
It is the goal that I’ve had since I started to discuss the errors that had been being made in the administration of the pandemic in Mexico. It was to spotlight the incorrect selections so that the voice was heard from an instructional and scientific perspective in the area of well being.
And above all for one thing to change, for there to be a rectification, one thing that by no means occurred. The intention has been to depart a written testimony of what occurred in Mexico and what are the selections that led so many individuals to die.
Courtesy Dr. Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie is the creator of the guide “An irreparable injury. The legal administration of the pandemic in Mexico ”.
What is the authorities’s administration based mostly on to qualify as “legal”? It is a really harsh adjective.
Initially, I believed that his administration was a mistake due to lack of awareness. Now, sadly, I understand that in Mexico it is not that they did not know what to do, it is that they made the decision not to do it. That is why I put the phrase « legal » in the subtitle of the guide, as a result of figuring out how a scenario might be remedied and what are the instruments that want to be taken to cease a disaster that is main a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals to die and not take these selections … nicely I name that legal.
So are we speaking about making incorrect selections figuring out what would occur? What selections are you referring to?
Dr. Hugo López-Gatell is an individual who has the preparation and information to deal with an issue of this nature. What might be completed to cease the pandemic is a primary understanding of epidemiology.
It is recognized that migration management and the motion of individuals management the unfold of contagions, it is recognized that circumstances should be recognized to isolate them and cease the transmission … It is a scenario that is occurring given a aware decision to perform a technique, knowingly that is main so many individuals to die.
You defend that Mexico did not guess on the containment of contagions however reasonably on reaching the so-called « herd immunity » in the inhabitants, however the authorities has by no means confirmed this as the United Kingdom did at the time.
Sure, it has by no means been spoken overtly, however it has been stated repeatedly that Mexico does not intend a containment technique however a mitigation technique. So it is the identical. And it has been a lax mitigation, that is why confinement has by no means been obligatory, nor the use of face masks.
Mexico has by no means had a technique to cease contagion. For that, borders needs to be monitored, contact tracing needs to be completed and the largest variety of asymptomatic circumstances detected, that are these that unfold the illness and give you the option to isolate them. However Mexico solely exams circumstances with fairly superior signs, so we by no means know what number of infections there actually are.
Right here they do not attempt to include contagions, they solely let individuals proceed to get contaminated however attempt to handle them over time in order not to saturate the hospitals. That is what Mexico does.
. Mexico provides greater than 184,000 deaths and greater than two million circumstances of covid-19, in accordance to the official authorities report.
In his guide he even has a point out of the Nazi physician Josef Mengele that has been very controversial, by saying that he would not select to name this López-Gate tactic “genocide”ll.
I believe I’ve been misunderstood there. Mengele is an individual who deliberately needed to kill individuals, however I don’t suppose López-Gatell had that purpose. He merely made selections that appeared politically expeditious to management the downside and his selections have led individuals to die, though he did not intend to kill them.
What I needed to suggest with the comparability with Mengele is by that determine of the man dressed as a health care provider who, by following a political development, incurs unethical to his occupation as a health care provider and scientist.
I positively do not contemplate López-Gatell a assassin or a psychopath. I believe he has been an irresponsible and negligent scientist, which is completely different.
It is clear to you then that López-Gatell’s function has been extra political than scientific throughout the pandemic.
Sure, I’ve little doubt about that. How can a health care provider dismiss the preventive use of the masks? That is a political measure as a result of the president refuses to put on it.
It additionally insists on rejecting, towards all scientific proof, the measure to monitor and management migration to the nation. All international locations are doing it, and now they require unfavorable PCR exams for vacationers coming into the nation or additionally quarantines. Why? Properly, as a result of it is a measure that works, we want to stop contagions from coming into. Mexico has by no means had that as a result of they do not need the burden of not having vacationers, they do not need this grievance that has repercussions from an financial perspective.
However a scientist who says that a really logical and confirmed measure does not work, as a result of he is not talking as an epidemiologist … he is talking as a politician, defending the place of the president who prefers not to make these sanitary fences as a result of it is costly and he does not need to assume it.
Authorities of Mexico The creator harshly criticizes the administration of the Mexican Undersecretary of Well being, Hugo López-Gatell, who lately was additionally contaminated with covid-19.
You have got additionally been criticized for making this kind of evaluation of whether or not you’re political or not in your guide, as an alternative of merely saying what is proper or incorrect based mostly on scientific information.
Many political positions have been provided to me and I’ve all declined. I’m not politically inclined of any form. What occurs is that there are a lot of individuals who politicize all the things. In different phrases, the masks is now political: if you’re with the president it is best to not put it on, if you’re towards him you place it on … That is not political, it is a well being difficulty.
However many appear not to perceive that somebody sees an injustice and raises their voice in favor of those that get sick and die, with out having a political connotation. If one other celebration had been in energy, I’d be saying the identical factor. But when the decision-makers are López-Gatell and the president, then I’ve to identify them. However that has no political connotation as a result of I’ve no political intention in any respect.
The scenario in lots of different international locations in relation to covid-19 is disastrous. What is it that differentiates the administration of Mexico?
It is clear that many international locations have dealt with it badly: Brazil, Argentina, Spain, the United States particularly … However the truth that many have completed it badly does not exempt Mexico from duty.
But when there is one thing that makes the downside in Mexico worse, it is that different leaders akin to Angela Merkel or Boris Johnson noticed that the downside of their international locations was very severe and that they had been not having the ability to management it. So they got here out to apologize to the inhabitants for dealing with the pandemic, to say that they underestimated the downside, that they did not act on time, and instantly rectified. Extra confinement, extra exams, extra masks.
The distinction is that in Mexico it is not even acknowledged that one thing unhealthy is occurring, that is, they at all times insist that the pandemic is already below management and we’re on our method out. There is no indication right here that you plan to change or enhance your technique.
You have got talked about some leaders of different international locations. What do you consider the public place relating to the pandemic of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador?
After López Obrador was contaminated with covid-19, there have been two choices. That of Boris Johnson, who after being contaminated modified the technique of the United Kingdom when he noticed that the illness was horrible and extra had to be completed to management it; or that of Donald Trump, who after being contaminated continued to discard all scientific opinions and to say that the pandemic was not so severe, that he recovered even being older and having weight problems.
In his first look after the an infection, López Obrador stated: « no, I’m going to put on a masks as a result of I already bought it, I not get it. » He did the identical as Trump: ship a message to the inhabitants that when you’ve got already been contaminated and survived, you do not want to take any motion.
His perspective was to make it clear that he is not going to change something, on the opposite, he is redoubling the negligent and irresponsible attitudes he had earlier than turning into contaminated. Now it makes them extra emphatic. It is an actual shame that it is so.
Authorities of Mexico AMLO has been questioned on a number of events for not carrying a masks at public occasions.
Is it all the authorities’s fault? What a part of the duty falls on the inhabitants?
When in Mexico you inform somebody not to be irresponsible and placed on a masks, they say: « No, no, sorry, the president says it is not mandatory. » The inhabitants has by no means had clear data from the authorities to care for themselves and forestall infections.
However later the authorities desires to divert duty in the direction of the inhabitants, saying that we’re like this as a result of individuals proceed to have events. Properly, individuals throw events as a result of that is the message that they have been given, that this is not severe, that we’re on the method out, that we’re flattening the curve and tame the pandemic.
I suppose that the Mexican inhabitants has not completed issues in addition to they might have been completed, however can we actually maintain the inhabitants accountable when the messages they have acquired from the authorities have been so incorrect?
Have you ever acquired any communication or response from the authorities after the publication of the guide?
No, none. I’ve by no means been contacted by the authorities at any stage. I’ve by no means been in touch with López-Gatell, he has by no means tried to contact me or I him. I approached the authorities of Mexico Metropolis to see if there was something that I might contribute to the efforts to include the pandemic in the capital, and the response I acquired is that they do not need to know something about me.
They suppose I’m the enemy, however I’m not. I’ve not criticized the authorities, I’m criticizing the administration of the pandemic.
She has additionally been attacked by those that imagine that her coaching in dentistry does not make her a licensed voice to touch upon the administration of the pandemic.
I studied dentistry as the first educational diploma in the bachelor’s diploma. Then I’ve a doctorate in Medical Sciences from Harvard College, the place I specialised in Microbiology and I’ve labored in the academic-scientific space for the final 21 years of my life.
It is as if we referred to as López-Gatell a « common practitioner » [es especialista en Medicina Interna] not counting his doctorate in Epidemiology. Yelling at me on social media “dentist” looks like an actual ridiculousness to me.
Contemplating your qualification as a « legal » of the administration in Mexico, do you suppose that any authority will find yourself having to account for what occurred on this pandemic?
This not pursuits me. In different phrases, having led so many individuals to die, as a result of somebody would have to be held accountable, proper? What has occurred in Mexico with the pandemic is an actual crime. However that not issues me.
My guide is additionally entitled « Irreparable injury » for all the useless individuals, that can not be repaired. No matter they do, if they put them in jail, they dismiss them … as a result of nothing is going to revive these useless or take away the penalty from the households in mourning.
Do you suppose there is nonetheless time for a change in technique in the face oflto covid-19 in Mexico that you declare?
After all, there are nonetheless a whole lot of 1000’s of lives that can nonetheless be saved. The USA is exhibiting it. The nation that worst dealt with the pandemic on the planet, now they are reversing it with an individual who arrived [a la presidencia] and that he does hear to the scientists, who put in the sources and infrastructure. And their numbers start to enhance.
So there we now have demonstrations that it might be completed. Lives are price preventing for, there is a lot that might be completed with the proper technique and sending the proper messages.
Bear in mind that you possibly can obtain notifications from BBC Mundo. Obtain our app and activate them so that you don’t miss our greatest content material.