López-Gatell at the beach / Assange gets asylum offerBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:00
COVID-19. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that so far, 70 percent of the existing vaccines against COVID-19 have been administered. This represents 40,000 doses. He said that according to the government’s calculation, all health personnel will be vaccinated by the end of January, representing 750,000 people working in the sector. AMLO also said that Leticia Ánimas, Coordinator of Scholarships for Well-being, had contracted COVID and that until she recovers, others will be helping to carry out her duties. López Obrador also addressed the landscape at the end of the year for the coronavirus in Mexico City and for the state. “In the case of the city, it became quite complicated at the end of the year. Still, the saturation in hospitals was 90 percent and did not go beyond that because a program to expand the number of beds, hospitals, specialists and equipment was implemented. We believe that the worst is behind us.”
López-Gatell at the beach. After pictures surfaced of Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell at the beach, López Obrador was forced to respond to questions about the minister’s behavior after AMLO’s government asked citizens to stay put and in confinement over the holidays. “What I can tell you? In terms of behavior, Dr. López-Gatell has been working a lot, very hard. He has been fully fulfilling his responsibility, he is an outstanding public servant, a good specialist, a professional. That is what I can comment on.”
Asylum for Julian Assange? The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been offered political asylum in Mexico by President López Obrador. “I am pleased that in England, protection has been given to Mr. Assange and that extradition to the United States has not been authorized. It is a triumph of justice. I am going to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to carry out the corresponding procedures so that the United Kingdom government is asked the possibility that Mr. Assange is released and that Mexico offers him political asylum,” López Obrador said. During the president’s election run, Julian Assange made several remarks against López Obrador.
Public university budgets and fees. The president addressed university costs at public institutions and called for greater accessibility. “An effort has to be made so that fees are not charged because many of them are high and that prevents students from being able to study at public universities,” AMLO said. He also mentioned that 2021 needs to be a year dedicated to strengthening the austerity policy. This means lowering government expenses and finding new ways of maintaining the government and citizens.
Concessions for gas. President López Obrador said that he would not rule out increasing the number of concessions for the sale of gasoline used in vehicles and for heating homes in order to stimulate competition. “We had already thought about whether to act with rectitude; we had thought about expanding the number of concessions and we have never ruled out that possibility,” he said.
Job recuperation and economic recovery. AMLO said he expects a boost in jobs by the end of March for an accumulated total above 20 million. “We think that in the first quarter we will already have 1 million jobs recovered and we will reach 20.5 million jobs registered with social security, this in terms of the formal economy. We must take into account the many job losses in the informal economy. We think we will do well this year.” According to López Obrador, the economic recovery will start happening because there will be new hiring at this time of year. The government also hopes there will be less outsourcing until an agreement is reached on that subject.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish