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Weah opens arms towards Cummings

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Welcomes ANC leader’s offer

President George Weah has opened up his arms towards Cummings welcoming the political leader of the Alternative National Congress or ANC offers to help the government curb the spread of the coronavirus here.

The ANC leader in a statement issued on Wednesday expressed his willingness to join the government in the fight against the new strain of the covid-19, the Delta variant, which is spreading rapidly across Liberia.

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ANC Cummings

“I offer to work with the government in whatever way I reasonably can to help us out of this situation. The Cummings Africa Foundation is open to working with authorities of the Ministry of Health to identify some of the urgent gaps in the national response that we can make some quick interventions to,” Cummings stated his statement that was more nationalistic than political.

 In an inclusive interview, Mr. Weah indicated that he welcomes the gesture being made by Cummings and is willing to listen to and work with him, void political hindrance.

“The coronavirus is no joke…Liberians are losing their lives every day to the plague. During a national crisis of this nature and magnitude, all hands of good citizens, void of political affiliation, are required on deck,” Weah noted.

He recalled himself working with the regime of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during the EBOLA outbreak here saying, this is what citizens do, adding it was not because of President Sirleaf but rather it was his desire to help save the life of fellow citizens.

President Weah said if the help being offered by Cummings is without a political trace, it would go a long way in beefing up the health sector and finding a remedy to the unanticipated health crisis.

Cummings in his statement made series of recommendations to the Weah administration to take siege of the health situation: recast the budget to provide funding for the purchase of beds, PPEs, masks, vaccines, ventilators, oxygen, and massive awareness; solicit additional support from Liberians in the diaspora and the donor community; increase the hazard pay of existing health workers and employ more health workers contact tracers; immediately close all schools and ensure the completion of the semester from home, pending the end of the crisis; work with community leaders and community-based organizations to create awareness and help with enforcement of GOL new regulations instead of the use of paramilitary forces; set up a hotline where people who have families or friends with severe symptoms of COVID-19 can call for help and be linked to the nearest isolation or health center.

Meanwhile, on the dismissal of former Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon, President Weah bemoaned that it is disappointing to see an official of government providing false and misleading information to the public at a time everyone is looking up to the government for credible information and workable solutions relative to the survival of them and their families.

 He explained that the information provided by Fahngon was false and misleading. He opined that Fahngon had no authority to speak on the health matters, and as a member of the Executive, he was way out of line.

In one of his Facebook live video on the topic, “Legacy on the Brink…COVID-19 Variant”, Fahngon asserted that the measures being put in place by the Weah administration to curb the spread of the new variant of the covid-19 are immaterial and that the legacy of the President as it relates to the fight against the coronavirus was on the brink of annihilation.

Fahngon also explained that AstraZeneca, the vaccine being used in Liberia to fight the virus, is associated with side effects, and recommended that the citizenry not take the dose. According to him, he got sick when he took the first dose of the vaccine.

   “The Chinese government has expressed willingness to supply Liberia with a consignment of its own COVID-19 vaccine, but there are politics interplaying, something that might be catastrophic in the end. Everything in this country is politics, even when it involves lives. There are many others, including some top government officials playing politics with this vaccine thing and it may cost us terribly,” Fahngon went on.

However, President Weah told the media that two health committees have already been established to carry out specific functions: Sparkle and Incident Management System (IMS) and that he heads all the two committees.

The Incident Management System (IMS) is the technical and operational arm of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response and is made up of only health experts and partners. For Sparkle, it is made up of experts, government officials, and partners, and is responsible to assess the workings and review the activities of the IMS and solicit resources from foreign governments and partners for the response.

He said at no point in time had Fahngon sat with him, as head of the two teams, to ascertain the facts, neither did he do so with the Minister of Health or those designated to speak on the health crisis facing the country.

Weah stated emphatically that only the Minister of Health is clothed with the authority to inform the public on health matters and the state of the health sector.

Fahngon’s dismissal took effect Wednesday evening, June 23, 2021.

However, the president has commended the public for following the health measures put in place and urged everyone to continue abiding by these protocols to prevail over the virus. He said the fight against the virus requires all hands on deck and the collaborative effort of every citizen, irrespective of tribe, religion, or political affiliation.

He also extended his appreciation to the nurses, doctors, physicians, physician assistants, midwives, contact tracers, administrators, and everyone playing a role in the health sector, commending their effort and their gallant work.

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