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Mexican First Lady Called a 'Witch' after Tone-deaf Comment on Kids With Cancer

Mexican First Lady Beatriz Gutierrez kicked up a storm with her 'I'm not a doctor' comment | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

Mexican First Lady Beatriz Gutierrez kicked up a storm with her 'I'm not a doctor' comment | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter

A shortage of medicines to treat cancer in children drew negative headlines for Mexican President Lopez Obrador earlier this year as his government tried to overhaul the health system.

A post meant to celebrate Mexican leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's two-year anniversary as President has been going viral in Mexico for all the wrong reasons.

To celebrate the completion of Obrador's two years in office since July 2018, Mexican First Lady Beatriz Gutierrez shared a post on Twitter.

Gutierrez's celebratory post, however, seemed to offend a few. Responding to her post, Twitter user Jose David Guerra asked: “When will you personally attend to the parents of children with cancer? Thank you for your kind response.”

Gutierrez responded, “I’m not a doctor, maybe you are. On you go, you help them,” in a tweet that has since been deleted but was seen by Reuters and widely retweeted.

The post went viral with many tweeting against Gutierrez by widely sharing her "I'm not a doctor" comment. The hashtag #NoSoyMedico also trended on Twitter.

Guttierez later posted an apology in which she appeared to blame Lopez Obrador’s opponents for the huge media attention her comments drew.

“My husband’s adversaries are very inquisitive!” she wrote on Twitter. “If my expression ‘I’m not a doctor’ offended anyone, I apologize... I just want to express that I am deeply human and I wish the best for everyone.”

The office of the president declined to comment on the row, which threatened to take some of the shine off Lopez Obrador’s celebration of his landslide win’s anniversary.

A shortage of medicines to treat cancer in children drew negative headlines for Lopez Obrador earlier this year as his government tried to overhaul the health system.

Images of sick children and distraught parents criticizing the government from crowded hospital wards damaged his reputation and ate into his popularity.

Gutierrez has been a strong defender of her husband, and has come under fire frequently from critics on social media.

"La Bruja"

The row sparked a trending hashtag #LaBrujaDelPalacio (The Witch of the Palace), referring to the National Palace, site of the president’s offices and residence. Supporters of the first lady denounced the attacks, saying she deserved respect.

Lopez Obrador himself rarely shies away from conflict with adversaries. His critics and defenders have attacked each other vigorously on Twitter since he took office in December 2018.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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