Resorts, Upbeat President Market Mexico's Comeback As Deaths Rise

Coronavirus infections and deaths continue to peak in Mexico but the tourist industry markets summer travel and automotive plants plan openings.

Resorts, Upbeat President Market Mexico's Comeback As Deaths Rise
AP/Rebecca Blackwell

With this upbeat rhythm, Mexico's tourism industry this week is hyping the country's summer travel destinations. Only at the end of the marketing spots do you get this disclaimer:

"Think of Mexico. Stay at home. We'll see you soon. Mexico."

This seems to be the Mexican paradox. Coronavirus illnesses and deaths are rising exponentially and residents are directed to shelter inside. And yet the country appears to be aggressively plotting its comeback, to see everyone soon.

Despite health advisories, Mexican resorts are marketing discounted vacation packages to revive tourism for domestic travelers, with hopes of later lifting restrictions on visitors from the U.S. and Canada. 

General Motors of Mexico has announced the gradual opening of automotive plants in the Mexican states of Guanajuanto and Coahuila as Toyota, Nissan and Honda also hope to come back after the start of June.

And yet Mexico on Tuesday recorded more than 500 COVID-19 deaths in a single day for the first time. By Wednesday, the country had nearly 75,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 8,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

And a new study of death records says Mexico City had 8,000 more deaths than normal over the first five months of 2020. That nearly five times the city's official coronavirus toll.

Social distancing measures in the city remain in effect until June 15 but the mayor is lifting some restrictions on businesses before then. 

And Mexico's ever-upbeat president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, says, "The strategy of the Mexican doctors and scientists to flatten the curve has worked." 

He insists "the pandemic could have completely overwhelmed us" but hasn't. Yet the rising toll may offer a different story.

For Newsy, I'm Peter Hecht