MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president lashed out Monday at criticism of his 13-year-old son after a video posted on social media showed the boy at a hotel in the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco without a face mask.
The video shows young Jésus Ernesto López walking through a hotel lobby. Two young men with him are wearing face masks, but the president’s son isn’t.
There is no prohibition on traveling, staying at hotels or vacationing in Mexico, but many Mexicans fear doing so or no longer can afford to amid the coronavirus epidemic. Nor is there any punishment in most states for not wearing a mask in public areas.
President Andre’s Manuel López Obrador bristled at the criticism, asking rhetorically: “Can’t he go to the beach? What’s the crime?” López Obrador himself seldom wears a face mask, and the government has urged people to stay at home as much as they can.
While some people were upset about the mask, others criticized the famously austerity-minded president for the fact his son could afford to stay at a hotel in the resort. López Obrador himself refuses to use the presidential jet and flies commercial or travels by car to most events. López Obrador pointed out that the families of past presidents in Mexico traveled in such regal style they were seldom seen in hotel lobbies.
“What did they do before, when they used secret service presidential helicopters to take the whole family to the beach, and they had government houses for their use? Did these people complain?” the president asked.
First Lady Beatriz Gutierrez criticized Twitter for once again plunging her son into the spotlight, writing “your permissiveness in allowing messages that insult minors. All this for money? How terrible. ”
It is not the first time Jesús Ernesto has been the target of jibes.
In June, the first lady criticized a government agency that sent an invitation to a panel discussion on discrimination was sent to YouTube presenter Chumel Torres, who had earlier referred to Jesús Ernesto as a “chocolate flan” for his blond-tipped hairstyle.