Monrovia: As Liberia grapples with the threat of a new and deadlier strain of the COVID-19 virus, the sorry plight of the country’s health infrastructure has claimed the attention of the political leader and vision bearer of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, who has termed as inhumane, cruel and egotistic how members of the Legislature awarded US$30,000.00 to themselves and paid US$15,000.00 against this.
In a strongly worded press statement released last week, Dr. Cassell lamented the increase of COVID-19 cases in a country that is already saddled with poor healthcare infrastructures amidst heightened poverty, while many of its citizens cannot afford the cost of food, let alone medical services. As The Analyst reports, Dr. Cassell believes that a public health crisis of this magnitude can quickly result in devastating medical complications and significant loss of lives.
According to Dr. Cassell, in the wake of 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.
“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. This behavior of gross insensitivity 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,” Dr. Cassell blasted.
Regarding the Weah-led Government’ handling of the current spike in COVID-19 cases, Dr. Cassell cautioned President Weah to go beyond holding cabinet meetings and instructing his health minister to come up with regulations and protocols.
“To President Weah, it is not enough to hold an emergency cabinet meeting and instruct the health ministry to come up with regulations and protocols. 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. 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 by the law and replaced with a reputable and trustworthy company,” the PLP standard bearer lamented.
The public health and quality of lives of Liberians, Dr. Cassell stated, should be the primary responsibility of the government, and therefore must be treated and prioritized as such.
“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,” Dr. Cassell averred.
However, the PLP Vision Bearer said, “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, the PLP will launch a mobile clinic that will be our own minimum way of making additional interventions in the health sector. The PLP Mobile Clinic will be headed by professional nurses, physician assistants (PAs) and other volunteers. Their focus will be helping our disadvantaged people, who cannot afford high medical costs as they are the vulnerable population. Additionally, in the coming days, the PLP will be donating several medical supplies to hospitals and clinics to help address the current public health crisis in our nation”.
He further lamented that although Liberia has 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; however, when those 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, it has consequently resulted to a catastrophic effect on the lives of the public as we’re witnessing today.
“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. I strongly condemned the behavior on the part of both the current administration and legislatures as they are inhumane, cruel, ego-centric, greed driven, and at worst, what has gotten our country in the current deplorable state!!!” Dr. Cassell fumed.
Dr. Cassell concluded by saying, “may the healing hands and saving Grace of The Almighty God intercede and intervene over our nation and our people during this historic public health crisis. God blessed the people of Liberia and the Republic”.