As World Leaders mount their respective podiums daily to update their nations about the ravages and impact of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches is calling on the President of Liberia to step to the plate and speak to the nation, and give his people hope in the midst of the health and economic impact of the COVID-19. As The Analyst has learned, Reverend Kortu Brown wants President Weah take up time to address the nation two or days in a week to give his people hope.
Making the recommendations during a recent social media podcast, Rev. Browne said while efforts by the Ministry of Health are commendable in terms of providing regular updates to the Liberian people, the Ministry itself remains challenged, while there is need for more resources in the fight of the COVID-19, as well need for more public coordination.
“I think it is important the President speaks to the nation every two to three days, say for example, on this fight; and to help the nation understand what the government is doing from his level, because the Ministry of Health is not addressing, for example, transportation issues. They’re not addressing, for example, the prices of basic commodities; they’re not addressing, for example, the overall impact of the virus on the people,” Reverend Brown asserted.
He said, in these trying times, it is the Executive Mansion that is supposed to take on that portion of the fight. “That is why we are recommending to the government to ensure that the central government, through the president of the Republic of Liberia, would come as often as it can be – maybe every two days, and speak to the nation, even for five to ten minutes; and give hope, and talk about the actions that have been taken to ensure the fight against the virus are comprehensive and sustainable,” the Liberian prelate stated.
Rev. Browne was firm in his conviction that when President Weah addresses the nation regularly as his compatriots in Sierra Leone, the United States of America, Canada and other parts of the globe are doing, it gives hope to the people.
“The president needs to give hope. The president was elected by the people. Right now, we are challenged. This is a challenging moment. How do we balance the question of safety and survival? Here, there is a need for public safety, but there is also a need for individual survival. How we balance faith and reality? Yes, there is a need to go church, but there’s a need to also realize that the world is plagued; that there is a pestilence invading the world, and that pestilence has entered into Liberia, according to the Ministry of Health, and we are being called to limit the spread of that pandemic. How do we balance all of that?” Rev. Brown wondered.
Presidential Address, COVID-19 and the Economy
Touching of the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, Rev. Brown acknowledged the hike in transportation fare. “I am told that transportation is skyrocketing. We ourselves are buying gas at no small cost, if you can even find it. These are issues that need to be addressed, and who is better poised to address these issues than the government of Liberia. Who’s the head? The president of the republic, elected by the people. He must stand before them, in good times and bad times and lead them. When the children of Israel faced the Red Sea, Moses did not go at the back. He was at the front, facing the sea,” said Rev. Browne.
The Weah Project COVID-19 Pandemic Awareness Song
Rev. Brown said while the president’s effort to release a song that creates awareness about the Coronavirus pandemic is commendable, President Weah must speak to his people also.
“We appreciate the president trying to raise awareness about the Coronavirus pandemic by releasing a song. It’s helpful. But the president also needs to address some of the questions that the awareness would help produce. For example, washing hands, social distancing, stay home – all those things have implications,” he noted.
To date, Liberia has 13 COVID-19 confirmed cases. Out of that number, three have recovered, seven are alive and three are died. From the 13 confirmed cases, 605 contacts were listed, 168 samples collected, with 86 of the contacts considered high risk.
Observers believe, as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the country, in the midst of the already harsh economic conditions that Liberians were facing, Rev. Brown’s call is in the right direction as a means of assuaging the health and economic impact fears, quashing the abounding conspiracy theories, and fully affirming the existence of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
“President Weah did well with his Ebola song, and now with the Coronavirus song, I give him A plus. But he has to beef up his authority by speaking to us. We need to hear his voice. Things are hard. If the entire country gets locked down, is there any assistance from government to his people?” wonders Momolu Faikah of Duala.