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Do politicians deserve a vacation during the pandemic?

Several Latin American politicians and officials are in the eye of the hurricane for traveling during the pandemic.

Claudia López and Hugo López-Gatell

The debate has arisen after the departure of these leaders in the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. / Photos: Wikimedia-Toshlander, Wikimedia-Nrayhf

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Goméz Hernández

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Leer en español: ¿Los políticos merecen tener vacaciones en medio de la pandemia?

The mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López; the Undersecretary of Health of Mexico, Hugo López-Gatell; Among other politicians, have been strongly criticized by public opinion and their opponents for recent vacations they have taken.

The mayor who travels in the middle of the crisis

When Colombia is on the verge of reaching a new peak in infections and beginning strict general confinements, the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, announced a vacation trip with her partner, Senator Angélica Lozano, apparently abroad. Criticism of the center-left official has come from all political sectors.

Much criticism is made of her double standards since the mayor has been one of the strongest advocates of self-care and of staying home and not traveling so as not to "spread the virus. "

Despite the fact that the highest authority in the Colombian capital may have decided to leave while the figures in the city were under control, at this time the cases have increased and many fear a collapse of the health system.

López's defenders emphasize that like any other employee, she has the labor right to rest after 1 year of work. However, López's image was always that of a heavy hand and timely confinements, which caused her to disagree with the government of Iván Duque, which she accused of privileging the economy over health by not decreeing quick confinements. This is precisely one of the arguments used by other political sectors to criticize the mayor.

Unfortunately for the first woman mayor elected by popular vote in Bogotá, this is not the first scandal in which she has been criticized for not complying with the same standards that she defended.

López-Gatell does not comply with the measures

It was not more than a month ago that the undersecretary of health of the López Obrador government, Hugo López-Gatell, recommended that Mexicans stay home to control the pandemic. However, today some images are causing a stir in which the official appears in a restaurant on the beach in the State of Oaxaca without wearing a mask.

The main man in the fight against the coronavirus in Mexico defended himself and explained that “in Oaxaca the restaurants are open, that's why I was photographed in a restaurant. In some of these news they seem to be unclear on these details ”, said the Undersecretary of Health,“ it gave me the impression that some newspapers were not clear on any of these notions ”.

Also read: Is Latin America ready for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Consequences in Canada

Ontario Province Finance Minister Rod Phillips had to resign after taking a secret trip to the Caribbean. Phillips did not communicate to the public opinion that he was presenting his resignation letter after failing to comply with the recommendations to reduce infections prior to Christmas time made by the Government of the most populous province in Canada. The politician had traveled to the island of Saint Barth on December 13.

According to Semana Magazine, Phillips is joined by a few Canadian parliamentarians who have left the country throughout 2020, despite public health recommendations. Some have made the same decision as Rod Phillips and have resigned, such as legislator Kamal Khera, accepting that she crossed the border to go to a funeral in Seattle, United States.

The hypocritical mayor 

In early December Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin Texas, asked his fellow citizens to "stay home, if you can" as this was not the time to relax. Well, as the Austin American Statesman learned, Adler sent this message, just when he was on vacation at a Resort in Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur, Mexico.