If there is anything positive about COVID-19 which has been raging in recent time in the country, it is that it is softening the heretofore political hate amongst Liberians and bringing the rather heterogeneous hands into harmonious whole. The country’s political community, or at least for now the most pragmatic and level-headed members, are gravitating towards a national solidarity paradigm, buttressing Government efforts in fighting the deadly pandemic. Hours after a leading opposition leader, Mr. Alexander Cummings of the National Alternative Congress made a magnanimous offer to stand by the side of President Weah and his administration in battling COVID-19, another sensation on the political bloc, the Vision Bearer and Political Leader of the nascent People’s Liberation Party, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, has just released a statement committing his organization to teaming up with Government to nip the virus in the bud, though he also has got some critical comments about the administration and the National Legislation on initial moves made to fight the virus. The Analyst reports.
Another visible opposition political party has announced plans to help the government and people of Liberia repel COVID-19 and give Liberians the needy sigh of relief against the anxieties, fears and death the pandemic has caused in the last two weeks or so.
In statement issued yesterday, June 24, 2021, the Vision Bearer and Political Leader of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, avowed his party’s rigorous plans and efforts to fight COVID-19.
“Considering the gross disregard of the current government and politicians to enact policies that would address the public health and medical challenges of our country at this time,” Dr. Cassell said in a press statement, “the PLP will launch a mobile clinic that will be our own minimum way of making additional interventions in the health sector.”
He said the PLP Mobile Clinic will be headed by professional nurses, physician assistants (PAs) and other volunteers, and that the focus will be helping disadvantaged people, who cannot afford high medical costs as they are the vulnerable population.”
Additionally, the PLP Vision Bearer said, his party will, in the coming days, be donating several medical supplies to hospitals and clinics to help address the current public health crisis in our nation.
“The lives of the citizens of Liberia, and those of our visitors, and foreign dignitaries are not to be bargained with for political, financial gains and/or special interest groups,” Dr. Cassell asserted further, adding: “I strongly condemned the behaviors on the part of both the current administration and legislature as they are inhumane, cruel, ego-centric, greed driven, and at worst, what has gotten our country in the current deplorable state!”
Acknowledging that “we’ve made so much progress in containing the incident rate of COVID-19 over the past several months, which in large has been due to lessons on interventions (testing and contact tracing) learned from the past Ebola epidemic in Liberia,” Dr. Cassell alleged that “healthcare interventions and public health measures are compromised by greed on the part of COVID-19 testing company, as evidenced by reliable and credible sources, to where individuals traveling back from countries such as India that is considered ‘hot zone’ are bribing their way out of undergoing testing for fear of a positive test result.”
He said this has consequently resulted to a catastrophic effect on the lives of the public as is being witnessed today.
For a country such as Liberia, with poor healthcare infrastructures and many of its citizens who cannot afford the cost of food, the PLP maintained that public health crisis of this magnitude can quickly result to devastating medical complications and significant loss of lives.
“Despite a spike in the new COVID-19 variant, which could have been prevented, senators and representatives awarded US$30,000.00 to themselves and paid US$15,000.00 against this,” also indicated in his statement widely circulated to the media.
“What this means is, 30 senators and 73 representatives will receive a combined total of US$3,090,000.00 which could have been allocated to properly manage the COVID-19 surge and to acquire oxygens and beds for hospitals which have been depleted and so desperately needed,” he reasoned.
According to him, this behavior is a gross insensitive and lack of empathy for the sick and dying citizens of our country at the hands of these selfish politicians is inexcusable and shall be judged by history.
To President Weah, he said, it is not enough to hold an emergency cabinet meeting and instruct the health ministry to come up with regulations and protocols.
He added: “The crucial and decisive action that appears to be missing on your part is, not holding the COVID-19 testing company stationed at the Robert’s International Airport accountable for engaging in practices that are characteristic of criminal negligence, which has resulted not only to increased incidents and death rates but has overwhelmed our poor and very limited healthcare system or infrastructure.”
Dr. Cassell also opined that to protect the public from further reoccurrence, “this act of gross criminal negligence on the part of the management of the COVID-19 testing company should be fully punishable of the law and replaced with a reputable and trustworthy company.”
He noted that the public health and quality of lives of Liberians is the primary responsibility of the government, and therefore should be treated and prioritized as such.
Said the PLP Political Leader: “This is an unfortunate predicament, as the vulnerable population and poor citizens of our nation are being re-victimized by another failure of our government to enforce the necessary public health regulations that could have prevented the spread of this new strain of COVID-19, as they are the most vulnerable ones who are at greatest risk of dying from this deadly disease due to unaffordability and inaccessibility to the needed medical services.” See full text of Dr. Daniel E. Cassell’s Press statement on page 6 and 7 of this edition.