The President of Mexico is reported to have contracted Covid-19.

The 67-year-old president, who was a heavy smoker until suffering a major heart attack in 2013, said in a tweet that his symptoms were light and he was receiving treatment.

“As always, I am optimistic,” said Lopez Obrador, who has resisted wearing a face mask in public since the virus reached Mexico over 10 months ago.

The president, who is back in Mexico City after a three-day visit to parts of northern and central Mexico, said he would continue working, and still planned to take part in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning.

But the veteran leftist will step back from his regular public schedule, which has dominated the country’s political life since he first took office in December 2018.

Critics have railed incessantly against his management of the health crisis, but despite a mounting toll of nearly 150,000 dead, his popularity has risen during the pandemic, according a daily tracking poll by polling firm Consulta Mitofsky.

The president has maintained a busy agenda, meeting his security cabinet at 6 a.m. every morning then holding daily news conferences of two hours or more from 7 a.m. At the weekends, he often tours the country, just as he did when in opposition.

Throughout the emergency, Lopez Obrador has shied away from imposing strict curbs on the public. In October, he even criticized European countries for adopting tough lockdown measures, suggesting they smacked of authoritarianism.

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