With Liberians awaken to a confrontational talk-show yesterday on a local radio station accusing the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander Cummings of breaching health protocols upon arriving in the country from the Bahamas through the United States. Public sentiments built on why the presidential hopeful would circumvent established protocols under a national health emergency. But as the pendulum tickles the day forward, it was later discovered that the allegation that Mr. Cummings’ attempt to bypass health protocol was a misrepresentation of the reality. The ANC leader is reported to have been in quarantined at a government facility. But what is the real case, The Analyst has been diving into the matter and reports.
A source within the ANC has accused the government of politicizing Mr. Cummings’s question about quarantine options upon arrival in the country and the option accorded him by the professional health team assigned at the Roberts International Airport for self-quarantine, although he has now been safely quarantined at a government facility based on the rules outlined by the Government of Liberia.
In an explanation to The Analyst, the source said, the ANC leader, Alexander Cummings left the country recently for Bahamas to attend a board meeting, and anxiously returned home through the United States of America, and expressed readiness to comply with rules to keep Liberians safe. “Cummings inquired about quarantine options and was told by NPHIL that self-quarantine was an option and the health authorities approved and facilitated it”.
But according to the source who is closed to the ANC Political Leader, the government decided to politicize and changed the decision of the healthcare professionals while enroute to self-quarantine.
The source further explained that when Mr. Cummings recently arrived into the country he submitted to the Liberian health team at the RIA. The source informed this paper that the health team at this juncture informed Mr. Cummings of two options – one being self-quarantine and the other being NPHIL (government) quarantine.
According to the source, Mr. Cummings at this point chose to be self-quarantined which was subsequently granted and a nurse from National Public Health Institute of Liberia was sent to Mr. Cummings’ home for assessment. The government decided to politicize the situation and therefore changed the decision of the healthcare professionals, said the source.
The source further explained that “Everything was in place until someone from the top echelon of government overruled NPHIL and sent him to a quarantine center. He obliged, as he initially wanted anyway, to be quarantined. No harm, no fuss.”
As he has said, “This virus is no respecter of person and applying the rules selectively is wrong! No one is above the law! We remain committed to fighting CV19”.
While calling on “all Liberians to follow the guidance so we all can stay healthy”, Mr. Cummings expressed the hope that “The government will demonstrate the same adherence to the laws/rules with everyone and in every situation.”
“Cummings, consistent with his desire to comply and keep Liberian safe immediately agreed to be quarantined at a government run center after the government had politicized his self-quarantined arrangement,” our source narrated.
The source concluded, “Mr. Alexander B. Cummings is safely quarantined based on the rules outlined by the GOL – something he wanted and asked for anyway. He originally asked to be self-quarantine like Nathaniel McGill, who is currently self-quarantine.”
Meanwhile, Information Minister Eugene Nagbe, has accused ANC’s political leader Alexander Cummings of breaching the protocol established by health authorities and pointed out that the issue regarding Mr. Cummings being in quarantine should not be politicized. He told a local newspaper that Mr. Cummings arranged with a member of the health team to quarantine himself upon his arrival. “This is quite contrary to the established protocol. There are no exceptions to the measures, therefore the Incident Management System instructed that he be quarantined like everyone else,” Minister Nagbe said.
According to Minister Nagbe, there are presently several officials of government under quarantine at various centers.
“No self-quarantine for them. The Managing Director of the LWSC, The Executive Director of LACE, the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency are all under quarantine like all others,” he said, adding that it is sad and hypocritical that Mr. Cummings, a national figure who should lead by example would want special treatment which could endanger lives,
At the same time, Minister Nagbe debunked allegations that the Minister of State is under quarantine, and clarified that Minister McGill is not under quarantine.
“Why should he be when he has not traveled out of Liberia for months and he is not a contact,” the Information Minister wondered.