In the April 6, 2020 issue of The Lancet, Molecular Biology undergraduate alumni Ben Gallo '17 and Briana Christophers '17 outline the negligent response of the Nicaraguan goverment to the COVID-19 pandemic. A third author, Bill Peranteau '97, was also a Molecular Biology undergraduate. In part, they state:
The response of the Nicaraguan government to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been perhaps the most erratic of any country in the world to date. Directly contradicting mitigation strategies recommended by WHO, President Daniel Ortega has refused to encourage any physical distancing measures. Vice President Rosario Murillo (Daniel Ortega's wife) instead called on thousands of sympathisers to congregate in street marches under the slogan “love in the time of COVID-19”. By downplaying the danger of the pandemic and increasing the risk of community transmission in the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere,
the Nicaraguan government is violating the human rights of its citizens.
Nicaragua is the only country in central America that has yet to declare a state of emergency in response to the outbreak. Although the country has recommended self-quarantine for travellers coming from particular countries, the government has not restricted travel, closed borders or, most importantly, suspended schooling or public events.