“When people are going to talk about this disease (Coronavirus), they will talk about it from the viewpoint of science. Get the scientists. Let them be the ones to talk. Get those who have specialist information. That is what I will encourage you to do.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 24th April, 2020, when he met with the leadership of the National Media Commission, the Ghana Journalists Association, the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana, as well as the leadership of State-Owned media organisations on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, he encouraged the media to “bring those who have the knowledge, and let them, through you, explain these matters to the public.”
Whilst acknowledging that politicians would want to comment on everything, the President stated that, for the time being, I don’t see the politics involved in what we are doing. What we want to see is as much as possible the airwaves being filled with the information that the scientists have.”
Stressing that the country is blessed with a crop of good scientists who have credible information about the virus, President Akufo-Addo noted that he is privileged to be working with some of them, including the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Nsiah Asare, and the Co-ordinator of the Ghana COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Asamoah Baah.
“Luckily for me, he (Dr. Asamoah Baah) had just come back for retirement when these events broke. He was a central feature and element in the planning of the WHO when the Ebola pandemic broke out. Clearly, he has the experience and the background to deal with this. I corralled him to come and help lead the thinking on the things that we need to do.
We have serious, excellent, responsible people who have a lot of information,” he added.