Mexico's President Has No Interest in Bailing Out Big Companies and Banks, Says the Poor Must Be Rescued

exican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has ruled out the
 idea of bailing out big companies
 and banks as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on his country,
 arguing that the government 
must instead focus on supporting the poor.
While Mexico thus far has only 367 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
 the country is already 
feeling the economic impact of the global pandemic. López Obrador
 discussed this publicly on 
Monday, saying his government's efforts to address the crisis 
would focus on supporting the 
economically disadvantaged, not wealthy businesses.
"If we have to rescue someone, who do we have to rescue? The 
poor," the Mexican president said, 
Reuters reported. He said he would reveal more specific details 
about his government's plan on
"No more rescues in the style of the neoliberal period, that provided 
for banks, big companies. 
They shouldn't even be thinking that there will be tax forgiveness 
or other mechanisms that were 
used before," López Obrador said.

Mañana en la conferencia de las 7 a.m. daremos a conocer el plan para proteger a la población vulnerable ante el coronavirus. ¡Ánimo! Saldremos adelante. Tenemos la fortaleza de nuestro pueblo, finanzas públicas suficientes y el conocimiento de nuestros especialistas de la salud.

View image on Twitter

Later, he posted an optimistic message to Twitter. "We will 
move forward. 
We have the strength of our people, sufficient public finances,
 and the knowledge of
 our health specialists," the president wrote.
Meanwhile, north of the border in the U.S., Democrats have 
accused Republicans 
of pushing for a coronavirus economic stimulus plan that
 benefits businesses and 
corporations over workers. Democrats have argued that 
any economic assistance
 to companies should come with stipulations that they 
should be barred from using 
the funds to buy back stocks. Instead, they want the 
companies to be required to 
use the funds to keep employees on payroll as the 
economic crisis unfolds.
"Why wouldn't it be better for our national economy if, 
instead of buying back stock,
 corporations paid all of their workers better wages and
 provided good benefits? 
Why should a company whose pension program is 
underfunded be able to buy back
 stock before shoring up the pension fund?" Democratic 
Senate Minority Leader 
Chuck Schumer and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders 
wrote Monday in a 
New York Times opinion piece.
Although Mexico's president may be drawing praise for siding
 with the economically
 disadvantaged over banks and businesses, he has also 
drawn criticism for downplaying 
the threat of the pandemic.
"Don't stop going out—we're still only in phase one," 
López Obrador said in a 
Sunday video message. "If you have the means to do it, 
continue taking your
 family out to restaurants and diners. That's what will 
strengthen the economy."
The advice from the Mexican leader goes against the 
stringent social-distancing 
steps governments around the world have taken to counter 
the virus's spread. 
Many countries, as well as states and municipalities in the
 U.S., have shuttered 
all nonessential businesses and encouraged, or ordered, 
residents to remain in 
their homes in an effort to prevent the outbreak from growing.
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