Cummings Mobilizes Support to Fight COVID -Wants Govt. to put more money in purchase of drugs, payment of health hazard
As the scourge of the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic continues to bite harder in the country, the Political leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) has sent out a clarion call to the government, international community, the Liberian diaspora community, citizens and friends of Liberia to come to the aid of the country to provide solution to the what he called the frightening times for the country.
Mr. Cummings made the call yesterday through his official social media page the United States of America where he has gone according to him to hold meaningful discussions with humanitarian individuals and institutions on the fast deteriorating health situation in the country.
“These are difficult and frightening times for Liberia. Our nation is at the brink of a health crisis as the Covid-19 Pandemic is raging across the country. Our country is currently experiencing a rapidly increasing surge in COVID cases, occasioned by an unimaginable number of hospitalizations and deaths of our people, particularly, in Montserrado county and its environs. We have gone from 2,149 cases a month ago to about 3,146 cases today, thus registering about 1,000 new cases in a month with 14 deaths. Hospitals are running out of beds and life-saving medical oxygen which are in short supply, are being rationed among those in extreme needs”, Mr. Cummings said.
The social media post from the businessman turned politician further painted a bleak future of what he said seems to be beyond the capacity of the government to do anything tangible. “Doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners and support staffs are scrambling. People are forced to look on helplessly as their family members and friends who are turned away, suffer, suffocate and die. With over 3,100 confirmed cases, local transmission across the remotest parts of the country where even more weakened health infrastructures exist, will only exacerbate an already worsening health situation in the country, and further risk our sub-region and the world. It does not have to be this way”, he said. He added that a responsible government will not allow its people to go through this while they simply watch with no sense of urgency or direction.
Mr. Cummings who admitted being fond of using the social media platform because it has a lot of Liberian users to keep them updated on what he has been doing to follow and share the trends of the day, but unfortunately for the last few days, the stories have been different and for the wrong reasons too. He said the entire platform has been flooded with gloomy stories, obituaries, and tributes to families, loved ones and friends who have suffered and succumbed to the surging COVID 19 virus or turned away from hospital for lack of beds. He said like every Liberian, his heart is broken. “I am deeply and I feel your pains. The harsh truth is that this too, could have been avoided, he lamented.
The political leader of ANC did not mince words to blame President George Manneh Weah on how he virtually neglected his responsibility and the situation reached a crisis proportion. He said in the first place, the current pandemic should not have reached where it is and could not understand why early actions were not taken to impose appropriate restrictions on travelers coming into the country from Covid hotspots around the world, adding that this was a complete leadership failure beyond words.
“In the midst of this chaos and existential threat to our people, President Weah without any conscience and sense of responsibility to the people, left on his usual private jet to Ghana. At this point, the President should cancel all further travels and remain in country to lead this effort until this situation is handled. There is no time for politics here. I call on President Weah to LEAD. That is why the people of this country gave him their votes in 2017. They entered a social contract with him to protect them and change their lives. He cannot continue to abandon that responsibility. He cannot continue to lead from the back as has been the case since his ascendancy”
Speaking further on how bad the situation has become, Mr. Cummings said it hurts, particularly, knowing that amidst the already poor leadership of the Weah Administration which has brought untold sufferings, the people now must also deal with a health crisis that could have been avoided. “Even now as our people troupe to get vaccinated, they are being turned away as the vaccines are being rationed, only due to the fact that of the 123,000 vaccines donated to us, 27,000 donated by the AU expired in 2 weeks upon delivery due to the very low demand. That is about 20% of much needed vaccines, which could have been used in less than a week, expired instead of ensuring every single dose was utilized and not one thrown away. Even those being tested now, have to wait up to 5-7 days to get their results. This is unacceptable”, Mr. Cummings said with sorrow.
The CPP Presidential hopeful then recommended few and urgent steps to be taken among which is the Recast of the budget to provide funding for the purchase of beds, PPEs, masks, vaccines, ventilators, oxygen and massive awareness, Solicit additional support from our citizens in the diaspora and our international partners and donor community and increase the hazard pay of existing health workers and employ more health workers and contact tracers.
Others are immediately closing all schools and ensure the completion of the semester from, working 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 and set up a hotline where people who have families or friends with severe symptoms of COVID can call for help and be linked the nearest isolation or health center or monitored from home.
Mr. Cummings said he was willing to work with the government in whatever way possible and also avail the services of his Cummings Africa Foundation to work with the Ministry of Health to identify some of the urgent gaps in the national response that they can make some quick interventions to. 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.
“And to our health workers who are risking their lives on the frontlines, I send you my love, admiration, and respect. We will pressure the George Weah led government to do the right thing, to give to you the deserved materials and financial support required to help you do your work better at this difficult time ”, he concluded.