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26.03.2020 Opinion

With All Due Respect...COVID 19...Journalistic Responsibility

By Manny Osei Tuffuor
With All Due Respect...COVID 19...Journalistic Responsibility
LISTEN MAR 26, 2020

I recently received a video purported to be presented by one Kevin Taylor programmed as “ With All Due Respect.” The topic of his monologue centered around high government officials from Ghana who most likely has contracted the disease Covid 19.

The preoccupation with our president and his officials being infected with the virus was, to say the least shocking and a waste of journalistic responsibility.

At this time in Ghana’s history where we are faced with such impending doom and most of us spending sleepless nights to find ways that can positively impact people’s behaviors to stave off this pandemic, this Kevin Taylor, a Ghanaian chooses to promote journalistic sensationalism.

I find that to be preposterous. This is the time to demonstrate our patriotism and stand behind our leaders in this fight against our common enemy, Covid 19. Contribution towards this fight is not limited to just those of us in healthcare but every single citizen has a role to play. Taxi drivers, school children, the Makola trader, etc all have a positive role to play and so do you, Mr. Journalist. I am at my wit’s end to figure out how the C19 policy and the dynamics of the pandemic would change by finding out whether or not the president is positive for the virus.

With all due respect, Prince Charles of Britain is tested positive but what difference does it make other than all of us praying for his recovery and safety. For Ghana media to be dominated by garbage political news when people are exponentially contracting the C19 is a waste of taxpayer's money to educate those who propagate such negative news. Use your platform to suggest how we can better use Tro tro in these trying times and to limit community spread of C19 and with all due respect, for you to spend a whole program going on an expedition to prove that the president,Osafo Marfo, Dr Napo etc are positive or not positive is nothing but a distraction from efforts to come up with pragmatic solutions to the challenge at hand.

With all due respect, Mr Taylor can help in this fight if he can use his platform to share the experience in The US. From unverified sources Mr Taylor lives in New York City. NYC is rapidly becoming the new global epicenter for this pandemic. With the less than little resources that Ghana has, our leaders have demonstrated admirable leadership. Whether Nana Addo comes out to interact with the press or it is the information minister who does that, what difference does it make other than Mr Taylor trying to sensationalize the events. With all due respect, Mr Taylor do us a favor and bring news of global significance at this point in time that can be extrapolated to the experience in Ghana and Africa.

Yesterday statistics in New York City alone shows 280 deaths out of nearly 1000 deaths in the whole of US. In only 24 hrs 13,000 new cases of Covid 19 has been recorded in The US. In the richest nation in the world with the best healthcare service, nurses in NYC are using plastic trash bags as protective gowns. This is how grim the outlook is and if you have time on your hands please do responsible research that focuses on people’s behavior to fight the disease in Ghana.

With all due respect, I like to mention that one of the most brilliant writings I saw on social media was by one Jones Klutse who reveals the kind of statistics that would cause any reasonable person to pause about our call for unconditional lockdown approach in Ghana that had not taken a holistic approach. Even though I continue to support a lockdown approach we need a quick wholistic analysis. Another suggestion I read in Ghanaweb and Modernghana was about contact tracing and how we could utilize the services of our youth while the schools are closed. Some of these students can be trained to visit places to identify potential cases and isolate them just like it used to be years ago by the municipality when they deployed their inspectors called” Tankasi”

So with all due respect, Mr Taylor we are hungry for information that will shape our behavior such as CDC showing that CORONAVIRUS has been detected on the surfaces of the Crew Ship after 2 weeks whereas previously we were informed the virus lasts 72 hours on plastic surfaces. Knowledge about this virus is changing and increasing just as fast as they infect new people.

With all due respect, Mr Taylor you do lose credibility if you are not in tune with what matters to report in time of war. YOUR REPORTAGE IS BORING.

Submitted by:
Manny Osei Tuffuor
Cleveland, Ohio