WHILE DOCTORS AND nurses on the frontline of the COVID-19 fight in Liberia are getting infected (current infection toll at 34) with the virus primarily because of lack of basic protective gears in our hospitals, the executive under President George Weah is busy ditching out US$195,000 to 30 senators on Capitol Hill as sitting fees.
ONE HUNDRED AND three (103) members of the House of Representatives are also poised to receive several thousand United States Dollars as their share of the sitting fees for the recent Joint Resolution at the Capitol, endorsing the State of Emergency submitted by President Weah to fight the novel coronavirus.
BUT ORDINARY LIBERIANS are fuming with anger over what they see as clear mixed priority by the government when the country’s health sector and workforce lack basic equipment to work with.
THE 14 MILITARY Hospital, which is the government’s main quarantine center for COVID-19 patients, lacks Intensive Care Unit (ICU), standard laboratory, Oxygen and X-ray machine, among other vital tools in the middle of a major health crisis yet legislators on Capitol Hill are practically holding the executive in ransom for calling them from break to endorse a State of Emergency in helping to fight the COVID-19.
WE WONDER WHEN the government would prioritize protection for doctors, nurses and other health workers across the length and breadth of this country that are leading the fight against an invincible virus that has brought the entire world to its knees.
SOME LIBERIANS ARE asking whether lawmakers at the Capitol have conscience or care for the people they claim to represent. With death toll in the tiny country now passed 100 and active cases climbing to another hundred, including over 500 contacts out there in the public, many are asking when does the actual battle against COVID-19 start.
EVEN AS THE lawmakers line the pockets with thousands of dollars, a senior member of the Joint Security – the director of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency Soakpa, was pronounced dead from the virus. We thought this would have sent a very strong message to the authorities on the need to stop playing lip-service and get serious.
BUT IT SEEMS to be business as usual in the midst of a creeping human catastrophe this country is seriously ill-prepared for.
SECURITY FORCES DEPLOYED in the streets to help enforce lockdown and the State of Emergency are not being properly cared for or to put it bluntly, they are left to fend for themselves, while the executive is giving a group less than 200 nearly half of million for performing the job for which they were elected.
MANY HOSPITALS ACROSS this nation are without ambulances lest to talk about Intensive Care Units, Oxygen, facemasks, and gloves, among others to enable them handle COVID-19 cases and other health problems. Yet our lawmakers continue to milk the national coffer at the expense of more urgent priorities.