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Mexico president tests positive for coronavirus for 3rd time

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his regularly scheduled morning press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Feb. 28, 2023. Mexico’s president called anti-drug policies in the U.S. a failure Wednesday, March 15, 2023 and proposed a ban on using fentanyl in medicine. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File) Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives his regularly scheduled morning press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Feb. 28, 2023. Mexico’s president called anti-drug policies in the U.S. a failure Wednesday, March 15, 2023 and proposed a ban on using fentanyl in medicine. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
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MEXICO CITY -

Mexico's president suspended a tour of the Yucatan peninsula Sunday after acknowledging he tested positive for the cornavirus, having previously suffered two bouts of COVID-19.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wrote in his social media accounts that "it isn't serious."

The comment followed reports in the local press that Lopez Obrador felt faint Sunday morning and had to cancel his tour, something his presidential spokesman denied.

Lopez Obrador, 69, who has ackowledged a history of heart problems, wrote that he would isolate for "a few days" in Mexico City.

"My heart is 100 percent and as I have had to suspend the tour, I will be in Mexico City and celebrating, although from afar, the 16th birthday of (his son) Jesus Ernesto," he wrote.

Lopez Obrador was ill with COVID-19 in early 2021 and recovered after receiving what he described at the time as an experimental treatment. In January 2022, he announced he had come down with COVID-19 a second time, amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Mexico.

Lopez Obrador declined to enact mandatory mask mandates and he refused to wear a mask even at the peak of the pandemic unless it was absolutely necessary, as on airline flights. He famously refused to use Mexico's presidential jet, which he recently announced had been sold to Tajikistan.

Presidential spokesman Jesus Ramirez did not immediately respond to a question about whether the president would return to Mexico City aboard a commercial airline flight.

The president said that while he remains in isolation, Interior Secretary Adan Augusto Lopez will fill in at the daily presidential morning news briefings.

That could provide a boost for the interior secretary's flagging campaign to win the presidential nomination of Lopez Obrador's Morena party for the 2024 elections. Lopez, who is not related to the president, currently trails Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum in most polls on the primary race.

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