Freedom of the press is perhaps the most important in times of a crisis, but government officials are telling one Liberian paper that its articles about the Ebola virus need to stop — or they might just make them.
The paper in question, The Daily Observer, has published a series of articles that link the Ebola virus with health officials, Western governments and other powerful world figures. Explanations for why global leaders would manufacture the Ebola virus have ranged from an intricate organ harvesting scheme to genocide. A recent story purports that a widespread ring of nurses are using “Ebola vaccines” that are actually filled with dangerous chemicals.
“People dressed as nurses were going into communities with ‘Ebola Vaccines.’ Once injected, it reportedly produces Ebola-like symptoms and sends victims into a coma. Shortly thereafter, victims expire. Communities are now reportedly chasing vaccine peddlers out of their communities. After 10 children reportedly died from the ‘vaccine’ in Bensonville, the peddlers were reportedly chased out of the community upon their next visit.”
The Liberian government has responded testily to The Observer’s reports of a possible Ebola conspiracy, saying that they are doing detrimental work to the efforts of humanitarian workers to eradicate the virus. Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf published a letter earlier this week, imploring the legislature to pass a number of measures to curb the spread of the Ebola virus, among them the banning of large public gatherings and closing of all schools. The president also asked for an expansion of the government’s powers to control the press, in order to block rumors that may cause Liberians to refuse treatment and impede the fight against ebola in West Africa.
“The President may… prevent any citizen, groups of citizens or any entity… from making any public statement in person… which may have the tendency of undermining the State of Emergency, confusing the public on the nature of the health care threat, otherwise causing a state of panic about the health care or security condition of the station… Falsehood and negative reporting on the state of the affairs is likely to defeat the national effort in the fight of the Ebola virus, it is important that such be discouraged and prevented. Accordingly, the Government of Liberia will restrict speeches that will confuse the citizens and residents including the raising of false alarm thereby creating fear during the state of emergency.”
Western efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus have been meet with skepticism from their very inception in Africa. It’s not just Ebola either — countries around the world have reported in Pew Research polls that they are distrustful of the United States government’s health promotion efforts, according RT.
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