Liberia: Presidency Defends Ebola Response

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

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Benoni Urey held no punches last week, when he slammed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for what he described as abandoning the nation for an overseas adventure in the midst of a major health epidemic.

At a gathering of supporters at the Lomax Compound in the Zubah Town community, Urey, who has not hidden his interests in contesting the 2017 presidential elections, called on President Sirleaf to cut short her current trip and return home in order to lead the efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in the country. He also questioned the benefits to the country of the President’s traveling spree, suggesting that the president needs to spend more time at home and focus on the serious matters confronting the country and people rather than trotting around the world.

Urey’s remarks sent the Sirleaf administration’s spin doctors into overdrive, drawing strong statements from Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly who is acting President: “Ebola is not a political issue, Ebola is life and death, when people are trying to contain it and to eliminate it, don’t politicize it,” Dukuly proclaimed during a presentation of anti-Ebola gears by the World Health Organization at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare last Friday.

Then late Saturday evening, the Executive Mansion posted on its website, a statement from President Sirleaf explaining that the President’s trip was to Europe was planned “well before the Ebola situation evolved.”

Said Sirleaf: “Before I left, I had proper consultations with the Minister of Health and his team. The situation was assessed. We felt that it was well under control; that the health team would continue to brief the nation and be very straight forward on what the situation was.”

The President went on to state that since she left the country, she has been briefed everyday by the Minister of Health and his team. “I have received information through the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Dr. Edward McClain and through the United States Embassy whom we have contacted to send representatives from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. I received a message from Ambassador [Deborah] Malac that the team should be in Monrovia shortly.”

‘No Need for Panic’, President Says

The President played down the impact of the deadly virus on Liberia when she said: “We believe that while it is a concern, there is no need for panic. The situation has been managed very well by the Ministry of Health working with some of our international partners and we do not believe that one needs to do anything more than take precaution, follow the instructions and advice of the Ministry of Health team.”

Then turning to the aura of chatter in the air regarding Mr. Urey’s statement, said: “This is not a thing for politicians. This is why, although the Senate had taken some actions relating to the border, we’re glad that the House of Representatives decided that that action was not necessary.As far as we’re concerned the situation is being contained and well controlled. We ask the media, we ask politicians and we ask everybody not to create panic in the country. By talking things when you don’t have the details, you simply make people afraid and that’s not good.We call on everybody to remain calm, listen to the daily briefings of the Ministry of Health to follow whatever their advice is. Be assured that I’m on top of it; I’m getting briefings; I’m in control of it; and I feel that the situation is being well managed.”

Piah Says Urey a Political nobody

Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah weighed in on the matter with a pointed attack on Urey, suggesting that Urey was a political nobody and a man who does not understand the intricacies of the President, advising him to leave politics and make his farms and sell scratch cards.

Culled from :Here

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Category: Africa News