Viewpoint: Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president is slowing COVID response and endangering lives

Credit: DWS/Khamis
Credit: DWS/Khamis

In politics, there are generally two ways of making decisions. The first is evidence-based, weighing the pros and cons and choosing the best option; the greatest good for the greatest number.

The other is a populist approach, hell-bent against facts, science and logic. In a global pandemic where more than 2 million people have died, that is catastrophic.

The Tanzanian president [John Magufuli] seems to be taking populism to a whole new level.

Maybe he is under the influence of the same rabid anti-lockdown social media messaging that has persuaded some of my family and friends that Bill Gates or 5G have created the virus. But regardless of Magufuli’s cavalier motivation, these stances are a danger to public health. People are being exposed to suffering, and in some cases death.

Although the virus’s effect on Africa – including the numbers hospitalised or being tested – has not been quantified, the grim facts are crystal clear from within Magufuli’s own circle.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Yet Magufuli sticks bizarrely to asserting that Covid is a hoax. Instead of supporting lockdowns, and encouraging mask wearing as we prepare to mark the sombre anniversary of one year since the virus arrived in Africa, he has chosen to directly contradict local, regional and international efforts to defeat it.

Read the original post

Related article:  HIV infections among gay and bisexual men hit 20 year low
Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend