President George Manneh Weah says he would leave no stone unturned in the fight against the deadly Coronavirus disease, and that anyone who undermines the fight will face the full weight of his powers.
Speaking in a special interview Thursday, June 24, 2021, the President warned Liberians, particularly officials of government, to take the fight against COVID-19 serious because he would not tolerate distractions and misinformation.
The President made the remarks when he was particularly speaking about his actions against former Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs Eugene L. Fahngon whom he dismissed Thursday morning.
President Weah said it is disappointing to see an official of government providing false and misleading information to the public at a time everyone is looking up to the government for credible information and workable solutions relative to the survival of the people.
He said the information provided by the former Deputy Minister was false and misleading, and that Mr. Fahngon had no authority to speak on health matters, and as a member of the Executive, he was way out of line.
It can be recalled that, in a Facebook live video on the topic, “Legacy on the Brink…COVID-19 Variant”, Deputy Minister Fahngon alleged that the measures put in place to curtail the third variant of the virus are immaterial, and that the legacy of the President relative to the fight against the deadly virus was on the brink of annihilation.
Deputy Minister Fahngon continued that the AstraZeneca, the vaccine being used in Liberia to fight the virus, is associated with side effects, and recommended that the citizenry not take the dose. According to him, he got sick when he took the first dose of the vaccine.
“The Chinese government has expressed willingness to supply Liberia with a consignment of its own COVID-19 vaccine, but there are politics interplaying, something that might be catastrophic in the end. Everything in this country is politics, even when it involves lives. There are many others, including some top government officials, playing politics with this vaccine thing and it may cost us terribly,” Fahngon claimed.
However, the Deputy Minister has paid the iron price for comments viewed unworthy of a Deputy Minister of government—President Weah has finally dismissed him from his position.
President Weah informed the media that two health committees have already been established to carry out specific functions: Sparkle and Incident Management System (IMS), and that he heads all the two committees.
The Incident Management System (IMS) is the technical and operational arm of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 response, and is made up of only health experts and partners. For Sparkle, it is made up of experts, government officials and partners, and is responsible to assess the workings and review the activities of the IMS and solicit resources from foreign governments and partners for the response.
However, President Weah disclosed that at no point in time did Deputy Minister Fahngon sit with him, as head of the two teams, to ascertain the facts, neither did he do so with the Minister of Health, emphasizing that the Minister of Health is the only person clothed with the full responsibility to inform the public on health matters and the state of the health sector.
The dismissal of Deputy Minister Fahngon took effect Wednesday evening, June 23, 2021.
Meanwhile, President Weah has commended the public for following the health measures put in place by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL), and urged everyone to continue abiding by these protocols to prevail over the virus. He said the fight against the virus requires all hands on deck and the collaborative effort of every citizen, irrespective of creed, religion or political affiliation.
He extended heartfelt appreciation to the nurses, doctors, physicians, physician assistants, midwives, contact tracers, administrators and everyone playing a role in the health sector, commending their effort and their gallant work of volunteering for Mama Liberia.