Mexico’s president said Thursday he plans to give the military a role in distributing coronavirus vaccines, which he says US President Donald Trump helped him get.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that on his visit to Washington in July he spoke with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and they “helped facilitate so that Mexico was taken into account and could get the vaccine.”
Lopez Obrador suggested Mexico will probably wait until US regulators approve the Pfizer vaccine later this month before giving it the go-ahead in Mexico.
On Wednesday, Mexico’s Health Department signed a contract for 34.4 million doses of that vaccine, and said it hoped to receive 250,000 doses in December. Each person requires two doses.
The president said the government is discussing with “the army and the navy, and we are defining the whole operation” to distribute the vaccine. Lopez Obrador has given the military an unprecedented array of responsibilities in his two years in office, including distributing medical supplies and guarding hospitals.
Lopez Obrador is one of the few world leaders who has yet to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.
Mexico has suffered the world’s fourth-highest death toll, with over 107,500 test-confirmed deaths. However, the country does very little testing and officials estimate the real death toll is probably closer to 150,000.