April 3, 2020

Political Thermometer


The pandemic generated by COVID-19 has repercussions in all imaginable areas. Mexican politics are not exempt. The position of the Mexican government in the face of crisis has shown the political strength of the group led by President López Obrador. Regardless of the press, media and social media criticism, the Congress has seen slight opposition and few complaints. The PAN and PRI congressmen in the Mexican lower House of Representatives stated that social distancing measures should be coordinated with the governments of the 32 federal entities. PAN representatives specifically insisted that the measures adopted must be coordinated by the General Health Council, headed by the President of the Republic, in which federal and state officials participate, but also universities and scientific academies and members of the private sector in the health industry.

To date, Mexico’s president has decided not to interrupt the routine followed and has not canceled or postponed any visits to different towns in the country to meet the people who receive him with enthusiasm. However, the entry of the General Health Council onto the political scene suggests that this constitutional body could initiate decision-making, avoiding the direct involvement of the president in actions that seem of little relevance to the people. In fact, the Mexican Constitution created this autonomous constitutional body so that the government could have an executive institution capable of preventing and reacting quickly and effectively to health problems that may arise.

The General Health Council is authorized to issue, according to the Constitution, general provisions of a mandatory nature throughout Mexico’s territory that can be converted into public policies and implemented by the country’s health authorities. The government’s decision to convene the General Health Council to deal with, review and execute measures to face the problems caused by the presence of COVID-19 is good news, since it will depoliticize the problem and to turn it into an exclusively technical one. Politics in times of crisis should serve to solve the problems of a society, not to make them more complicated. All want the measures adopted by the government to have the effectiveness that a problem of this size can cause to the safety of the country, and for the health and well-being of its inhabitants.