Some members of the opposition bloc are suspicious of disclosure by health authorities that the wife of Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings, Jr. the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Mrs. Teresa Cummings has been tested positive for COVID-19 might be politically motivated with intention to demoralize the opposition figure and to restrain the moment of politicians and other well placed individuals believed not to be in good rapport with the ruling establishment.
“This latest disclosure by health authorities is sending out signal of suspicion that the health status of Mrs. Cummings could be what others referred to as “political COVID-19, which according to them could likewise be tactics to stop the Cummings and their associates from traveling around the country,” a senior partisan of the ANC who preferred anonymity observed.
The observation, he pointed out, is against the backdrop that recently, Mr. Cummings and President Weah are separately touring vote rich terrains in the country, and such disclosure linking his wife might reasonably be motivated politically to stop the ANC political leader from reaching out further to other counties, especially when the disclosure coincided with his trip to vote- rich Nimba County.
Weighing on the latest disclosure in a short statement released yesterday by Mr. Cummings, the businessman turned politician said while he was in Gbarnga enroute to Nimba County, he received a call from his wife that she was tested positive for COVID-19, and he immediately returned to Monrovia to see her.
“Last Tuesday, April 6, 2021, I embarked on a 5-day visit to Nimba County. I returned to Monrovia on yesterday to attend the graduation ceremony of a vocational institute, and to spend time with my wife, Teresa, before her travel out of the country which was scheduled for today. While in Gbarnga enroute to Nimba this morning for the conclusion of my working visit, I received a call from my wife. She had tested positive with COVID-19. I immediately returned to Monrovia to be with my wife. At the moment, Teresa is fine. I am also fine and not presenting any symptoms,” Mr. Cummings said in his statement.
Notwithstanding, because of the news that his wife was tested positive of COVID-19 and consistent with the health protocols, Mrs. Teresa Cummings’ travel is postponed. “I have also initiated arrangements to take the COVID-19 test on tomorrow [meaning today], and will be self-quarantining immediately”, Mr. Cummings said.
The development is generating some interesting discussions and some are suggesting that it could be a ploy by the government and other interesting parties to slow down the pace at which Mr. Cummings is accelerating.
He and his wife were recently in Lofa County to dedicate a mosque that he supported financially to be constructed and also used his presence there to meet and hold discussion with diverse groups ranging from opinion and religious leaders, community leaders, market women, youths, students, etc.
His visit to Nimba County, another vote-rich arena where he made good showing during the 2017 presidential election would have further availed himself the opportunity to meet with people that he intends to keep engaging during this political season.
Mr. Cummings has since apologized to the people for the abrupt cancellation of his scheduled visit to the county at the last minute, which visit he said was already embarked upon when the news of his wife reached him.
“Please keep my family in your prayers, as ours will be that you continue to act to keep yourself and your love ones safe,” he pleaded.
A keen observer of political developments in the country, who preferred to conceal his identity, said people are wary of this kind of health news from what has been happening in our polity.
He mentioned about the scenario where Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe while in the tick of the senatorial election last year, was tested positive for the COVID-19, reason for which he was told to self-quarantine and suspend his physical campaign.
“You see, there is a glaring similarity in the two instances. Snowe told the press then that he was not experiencing any symptom of the virus but he was told to quarantine himself. Probably his opponents, who were out to derail his campaign, did it to stop him from getting to the people who were eager to vote for him. The same thing is with Mr. Cummings and his wife. My brother, check it well, something behind it”, he said.
The suspicion being raised may not be far-fetched considering the gimmicks people go at all cost to deploy. The reportage of someone being tested positive of the Corona Virus is being taken as almost a stigma, given the fact that the sickness has not gotten any confirmed cure and there is a high possibility of an infected person dying if proper care is not taken.
The implication right now is that for some time to come, Mr. Cummings and his wife will be out of the public space, which will seriously impact on the political outreach initiative the politician has been involved in.
It also means that even if he and his wife are finally cleared of any health challenge associated with the COVID-19, some people may not be in the mood to openly go around them and that along may affect their political pursuit, especially Mr. Cummings who is seriously in the race to clinch the sole ticket of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).