Vaccine Contenders Choose Mexico / Meeting with Coke CEO
Seven laboratories choose Mexico. Seven laboratories are looking to perform Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine protocols in Mexico, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard reported. US-based Janssen and Novavax, Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Cansino, Germany’s Curevac, France’s Sanofi-Pasteur and Italy’s ReiThera have expressed their interest. Ebrard said Mexico will formalize its inclusion in the Covax program this week, “which means the safest access route to vaccines from different countries.” Ebrard also reported that President López Obrador will participate in the UN’s General Assembly to talk about universal access to the eventual COVID-19 vaccine.
Meeting with Coca-Cola CEO. President López Obrador said yesterday's meeting with Coca-Cola global CEO James Quincey was positive. They discussed investments in Mexico and food labeling. “It was a good, honest conversation. We talked about investments because you have to a find a balance that does not prevent or limit investment from companies,” he said. New labeling regulations for sugary drinks and junk food have been unveiled as part of a comprehensive federal strategy to fight obesity. The president also said that there is a possibility of supporting over 1.2 million owners of small grocery stores with loans to ease losses after the COVID-19 crisis.
Sustained COVID-19 decline in 27 states. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said that 27 of the 32 states have again reported a decline in positive COVID-19 cases. “This is the eighth consecutive week in which we are seeing a sustained decline. Furthermore, in 27 of the 32 entities there is a reduction in the daily or weekly number of cases,” he said. “We will not be exempted from a resurgence so we must stay alert. The epidemic is not over,” López-Gatell warned.
Changes at Lotenal, Indep. National Lottery (Lotenal) head Ernesto Prieto will become the new director of the Institute to Return the Stolen to the People (Indep), President López Obrador said after Jaime Cárdenas submitted his resignation as Indep head. The president said Cárdenas resigned because he wanted to be closer to his academic activities and that Margarita González Saravia would take Prieto’s position at Lotenal. According to media reports, Cárdenas quit after disagreements on auctions of seized goods and the recent presidential plane “raffle.”
New raffle for Playa Espíritu. President López Obrador suggested that his administration could do another raffle, this time for Playa Espíritu, Sinaloa, a beach-front land parcel acquired by the Ministry of Tourism during former President Felipe Calderón's six-year term. “We were thinking of another raffle, since we did so well with the presidential plane raffle,” he said. After claiming that the irregular purchase affected Mazatlan’s development, the president said this land is divided into 5,000 lots, so each winner could have their own lot. After failing to sell every ticket and asking businesses and federal offices to participate in a massive sales effort, the effectiveness of the so-called presidential plane raffle was harshly questioned by opposition parties.
AMLO rules out further debt. President López Obrador ruled out an increase in public debt in the face of the COVID-19 contingency, after Deputy Minister of Finance (SHCP) Gabriel Yorio said yesterday that the federal government will go deeper into debt if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. “I would discard that option, that possibility. We have healthy public finances and there will be no additional debt,” the president said.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish