Liberia’s First COVID-19 Case Eclipsed by True Lies

President George Weah (left) appears to be on a roller-coaster of allegations against EPA Executive Director Nathaniel Blama (right), starting with 'Coronavirus' and now 'Corruption'.

-EPA denies their Executive Director evaded health protocols at the airport; communication director says President Weah was misinformed

By William Harmon and Robin Dopoe

The situation surrounding the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in the country is seemingly drifting away from how the virus can be contained into what would be considered as a war of words between the Executive Mansion and Nathaniel Blama, the person confirmed infected.

While announcing Liberia’s first recorded case of the contagious and deadly Coronavirus COVID-19 early Monday morning, President George Weah Shockingly said in a nationwide broadcast that the virus was brought into the country by a top government official who happened to be the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel Blama.  The President in his statement accused Blama of violating preventive health protocols at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) for reasons not disclosed.

The EPA Executive Director entered Liberia last Friday from the Green Climate Fund Board Meeting in Switzerland, a country within Europe where the virus is reportedly overwhelming.

“The infected person is Mr. Nathaniel Blama, Executive Director of the EPA, who arrived in Liberia on Brussels Airlines on Friday night, the 13th of March. Along with several other officials of Government traveling on the same flight, Mr. Blama chose not to be quarantined in keeping with the health protocols that were in place at the airport,” President Weah emphatically stated.

The President further said, “All other persons who traveled and by-passed the mandatory screening protocols are being made to report to the health authorities immediately and without any further delay. Any other person who attempts to by-pass screening at any post of entry will be arrested and taken into compulsory quarantine.”

But after a few hours when the President addressed the nation, the EPA came out with a rebuttal, stating that its Executive Director never evaded any preventive health protocols at the Roberts International Airport.

The EPA through its Communication Director, Danise Love Dennis said the information was not true and that Mr. Blama submitted himself for screening procedures at the RIA and requested voluntarily for further tests that later proved him to be positive.

EPA boss, in a two-minute audio recording in which he appeared to be talking with friends, said he did not by-pass any health procedures but has been doing just as the doctors have been saying. He added that more damage has been done by the misinformation that he refused to be quarantined.

“I did not do anything out of protocols. I talked to the doctors and they advised that since I was okay I should not create panic and that I should drive myself to the hospital and the ambulance was going to be behind me. And we did just that. So why are you guys panicking? Talk to Dr. [Francis] Kateh, talk to Dr. [Mosoka] Fallah. That’s what we agreed upon,” said Blama.

“And when they brought the ambulance in the community, community members were running behind it even after the health workers escorted and I got in. Then now you guys have done enough damage by misinforming the public that I refused quarantine. That is not true and that is not fair,” he added.

By then the EPA through its Media and Communication Specialist, Danise Dennis had earlier reacted swiftly that the President was misinformed by health authorities.

Ms. Dennis told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the President may have probably been misinformed as it was EPA boss who requested for additional testing after going through screening at the RIA.

“What is going out there is not actually the real information. The President was probably misinformed and it is our hope that the correct information will be put out there. Dr. Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr. went through the regular screening at the RIA along with other Government officials to be identified,” she said.

She also clarified that afterward Director Blama only came in contact with his driver when he went through the initial protocols at the RIA. “The only person he came in contact with was his driver who is also under observation as we speak,” she said, adding that he had no contact with his family members as they are not at his home.

“However, he voluntarily requested additional testing knowing he had come from Switzerland. The test came out positive and he went into self-quarantine and later drove himself to a government quarantine center.” The information given to the President is incorrect. Director is law-abiding and if he had voluntarily not asked for additional testing, no one would have known he’s positive. He also informed his entire staff about the result. It is important to note that he drove himself to the treatment center.”

The clarity from the EPA was precipitated by President George Weah’s pronouncement that Director Blama evaded health protocols at the RIA.

Ms. Dennis had initially posted on the EPA and her Facebook pages what she termed as clarity to the saga. So what appears to be an official clarity from the EPA now contrasts to the President initial address, which came in hours after reports emerged that the country had recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case.

President Weah amid these clarities has suspended Mr. Blama and appointed his deputy, Randall Doubayou, to act as Executive Director of the EPA for the time being. Communication Specialist, Danise Dennis, has also been suspended for time indefinite for what the EPA calls a unilateral decision to post on social media what contradicts the President’s earlier remarks.

An expert in Psychology says the suspension of Blama would increase his trauma thus worsening his condition as he is already down with the contagious virus.

Though many had harbored the thought that it was just a matter of time for Liberia to record its first Coronavirus case, no one had the slightest clue that the virus would have been brought by a top government official—people who should have been more careful in ensuring that the nation remains safe.

The news about the country’s first case, especially through a senior government official, sent shockwaves among Liberians on social media and in radio-land as they expressed their anger, grief and fear.

Though the President stated that there were some government officials who along with Mr. Blama evaded protocols at the RIA, no particular names were mentioned.

However, one person who traveled with the suspended EPA boss on the same flight was the head of the National Climate Change Secretariat at the EPA, Jeremiah Sokan.

It is reported that Sokan has also reported himself to health authorities and was taken to the quarantine center at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Bushrod Island.

Blama has since begun receiving huge criticisms. He is practically being hammered for allegedly refusing to adhere to safety measures by ignoring a request to be quarantined. Some are now calling for his immediate dismissal.

While some are bashing the suspended EPA Executive Director, others are calling for support to him in his difficult time.

“It seems we are not taking into consideration the psychological effects the situation is having on him right now. At this point he needs our prayers. Dismissal would further compound his predicament. We should rather be praying for the EPA Executive Director’s recovery,” a caller said on the radio Monday afternoon.


  1. We all know that every person entering Liberia internationally from a high risk area was supposed to be quarrantined for two weeks. Mr. Blama thought he was above the law and now Liberia will suffer for it.

  2. And who is this other “psychologist,” who is more concerned about the wellbeing of Nathaniel Blama than the welfare of the entire nation he Blama put at risk? Also if Ms. Dennis claims the president was misinformed about the course of events when her boss landed at RIA, what is the source of the “misinformation” and why? If anything shouldn’t it be the doctors and customs officers at RIA that should be making this clarification and not Ms. Dennis the fiddler on the roof of this thing? Hopefully her suspension is without pay, so she will learn to spin better next time. Finally, why would health officials even allow someone diagnosed with this deadly virus to go home before checking himself into seclusion? This is outright bridge of protocol and those health officials ought to be reprimanded equally too. That blunder put more people at risk and needlessly than if the infected guy had been isolated right there and then. Another glaring example of the buddy system that powers corruption in Liberia. Very low level thinking on the part of those health officials.

  3. To all Liberians, please open a Facebook page and search the name Rockefeller Cooper, listen to that Liberian who has put at our disposal vital pieces of advice to stay safe. The video is just 21 minutes long, listen to the end to stay safe, please. Also, share with your loved ones and friends.

  4. Liberians love to make mountain out of termite hill. How possible could Mr. Blama blind fool the entire security system at RIA? We are so much into rumours in this country called Liberia.

    I agreed with those who say we all should pray for the young man, instead of bashing him. I also believe it is not true that he by-passed Health Protocols at RIA.

    May Allah grant him recovery and protect the rest of us. Aamiin yarabi.

    • Mr. Bility,
      So, are you telling us the president of the Republic of Liberia LIED on the guy in an address to the nation?
      Why should the young man be suspended indefinitely from his position, along with the communications personnel?

      Sometimes in life when we don’t have anything good to say, say NOTHING! It would do you good.

      The current young breed of leaders in Liberia are very pompous and uncouth to even their own parents who brought them forth on the surface of this earth. They believe they have power and so all is permissible and that they are above the laws.

      Look at the other Rep Seeboe who is only now submitting himself to test since he arrived in the country. He had interacted with his family, co-workers and the public at large. Do you know the level of contamination rate in Liberia currently?

      That’s why we always like to kick against people who are not qualified for some specific positions.
      Had that preacher man running RIA been someone qualified to implement regulations, those government officials who had been refusing to go through the 14-day quarantine period couldn’t have done that. He was afraid to lose his job and so he could not touch government officials.
      No one is looking at the level of his responsibility in this situation of indiscipline.

      This is not about positions. Even the president should have been checked if he had arrived from a country with Covid-19 cases. Why would common civil servants not abide by those protocols and common safety regulations? Our people are again exposed to grave circumstances.

      May God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, who sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to die for us, protect our people.

      • Petarus,

        Cheap politics against the Managing Director of RIA is of no importance and serve no purpose. There is nothing you can do about his appointment. Get over it.
        You stated in one your post the “The preacher man was appointed from prison ministry to MD for the airport” That is a LIE.
        This Man of God served the airport authority for years and was a Manager at RiA before his preferment as MD by President Weah. Do some research before assassinating another man’s character because you might not afford the price when the time comes for you to pay.

        While we choose not to go down the road of pettiness, we pray for those that are affected, their families and those that came into contact with them.

        When all is said and done, Nasty politicking will still be here.

        • You stated in one your post the “The preacher man was appointed from prison ministry to MD for the airport” That is a LIE.

          Statement NOT true.
          I never wrote anything like that here. Get it and post it for all to see.
          You probably did not understand what I wrote.

          • Petarus Dolo,

            Before I remind you or post what you wrote, Are you saying you never wrote anything about this Bishop that is heading the RIA as it relates to prison and you even joke around with Sr. Bro. Hney on that day that I will come in to defend the preacher man ?

            What you wrote have nothing to do with my understanding. Please be aware, my computer saves every post and interactions.

  5. Liberians stupidity always amaze me. YOU ARE BLAMING ONE MAN FOR THIS NONSENSE. How can a whole nation be have so blind. In what world an individual can bypass a real/serious system??? He is the scapegoat for this matter. CDC had a rally??? We been allowing planes and open borders??? The man came back to be tested again and you clowns are blaming him…. stupid goats … what president/statesman annouces the name of a patient in a padenmic??? So effectively anyone who may have it will they come forward?? Next thing my very stupid people will say is may God save us… God got nothing to do with your stupidity .. He gave yus brains to use… I beg your mehn please use it. Electing clowns to lead have consequences. To the goats following a man that tested postive for the virus… what is wrong with you??? Did you goats test Koijee and everyone else on the plane???
    Ay my country

    • Eaddy,

      Since everyone is stupid besides you, what do you have to say about the Canadian Prime Minister who informed his nation that his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus ? Was naming his wife as a patient in the pandemic considered an act of stupidity too by you ?

      While we pray for Hon. Dr. Blama recovery, politicizing the pandemic our nation Liberia and other nations around the world is faced will do us no good. By the Grace of God, this too will pass and 2023 will come and there will be enough insults to go around.

      • If Trump does something, It means its right to do? use your common sense. its wrong to announce the man name. the man was wrong for passing by the testing centers, yes. but you put he and his family Life in danger. the Canadian prime minister and family have all the best protection in the world. and will get VIP vaccines. think also. we are having trauma from the 15yrs war, Ebola just left us, and now this thing. the last thing weah would have done was to announce the victim name if he has the victim in his care and not looking for him.


        You go ask the doctor. we talking about not only the man, His family could be kill by unknown people if the other family gets in contact with it from somewhere else and dies. we talking about putting Liberians in fear, my friend. its truth the virus is real but fear kills even without the virus.

        we all need to tell weah that’s not how to get famous or make his name that he is working or that how to get money from people. when they see him reading the script written by another person then they will give him money to pocket it.

        what did he do during Ebola? playing games in office as Senator. Did he say anything to Montserrado during Ebola before the Country.

        when u failing, you look for the smallest thing to make a come back. if its to use another You will do it.

        • Kae,

          I can see you are still trying to litigate the decision of the Liberian people making George Weah President. Thats a topic for another day.

          The calling of Dr. Blama name by the President was in no way to shame him, his family or put his family at risk but rather quite the opposite. Based on the information from health officials to the President, Dr. Blama posed a health risk and threat to public safety and the public had the right to know in order to limit contact with him or those he came into contact with.

          This pandemic is more about everyone safety in Liberia than a particular family, I think you are missing the point. We can agree to disagree.

      • Mr Nelson,

        It hurts to hear that we as Liberian including myself are foolish people. You didnt address any of the point I made. A lot of people in the west did not take this thing seriously until the last week. W cant afford to take things for granted.

        1) how is it possible for anyone to byepass the system?
        2) why are Liberians including our leadership hosting rally and events of any kind knowing virus was raging
        Given thay we have 0 border control?
        3) why are our people following the vehicle of a man diagnose with the virus?
        4) why is the leader of the country announcing the name of an individual who tested positive… ever thought about the consequences over all?
        5) why is whole country blaming one man for this?

        Well I guess we are a country of full of smart people. YOU CAN SEE THE TRENDS IN OUR HISTORY.

        I will pray for our people.

        • Eaddy,

          I’m sorry I didn’t address those questions that you asked. They are legitimate and alarming.

          You are right about the West response to this crisis. I share your concerns and know very well that this pandemic could really bring our country to her knees if hit hard. I’m worried and was just looking at the bigger picture for us to put our political differences aside and hold together as Liberians for what’s to come while keeping all those affected, their families and those that came into contact with them in prayers.

          I do understand your position. Let keep praying for one another and we do believe, this too shall pass.

  6. Peggy,
    I agree with you. These are tough times. Blama is an educated man. In my view, the gentleman could have avoided all of this publicity if he had submitted to screening. No doubt, this is a teachable moment. Since the damage or mistake has been done already, let’s move on. The public should be warned about what to do, where not to go and what can be done in order to prevent the spread of Corvid-19. Oh God, please bless Liberia.

    Mr. Peter Gboyo,
    Welcome back my buddy. It’s been a while since your departure. Like Peggy, I think you’ve asked a litany of good questions in your above post. The “psychologist” you’re referring to is the spokesperson of EPA who sincerely thinks she’s doing a damage control. But I think her priorities are misplaced. The psychologist must be told that the country is griped with fear because of Corvid-19.

    S. S. Bility,
    You’re right. Most Liberians are publicity seekers. At this critical time, we don’t need that. Prevention is the name of the game! Our people ought to be fully informed. We all should rally together to deal Corvid-19 a severe blow. In the US, schools have been shut in some states, worship services have been curtailed and restaurants will be unable to host patrons. Cooked foods can be ordered and delivered! I hope something is being done about schools, churches, etc in Liberia. Those blue flies that we see at our market houses must go. Prayer is good.

    It seems that your heart is in the right direction. But let’s not be temperamental. This is not the right time for that. If you’re in the diaspora, the best that you could do is to warn our compatriots about things they should or shouldn’t do. Together, we will prevail.

    Mon petite frere Dolo,
    You seemed to have experienced a mini epiphany yesterday when you agreed with Weah’s swift action in terms of terminating Dr. Blama. Guess what? When this killer desease burns in hell, I owe you and my buddy Gboyo a RedLobster dinner. For once Dolo, get the hell out of the Ivory coast my brother. Visit the US for a change!

    However today, you are dead set in an attack mode. You’re blaming the same guy you praised yesterday. What happened during the last 24 hours? Your attack has been trained on Weah’s Preacher appointee at Roberts’ International Airport. Dolo, do you think if an airport engineer (I don’t know of any) were placed in charge of Roberts’ International, Blama would have cooperated with the country’s healthcare workers? The Preacher appointee is trying his level best. At this particular time, our concentration focus should be prevention, prevention and prevention.

    What steps are being taken in the Ivory coast in terms of preventing the spread of Corvid-19?

    • Bonjour Grand Frere Hney,

      I hope you are safe where you are and doing well. My regards to you and family.

      I did not agree with the preacher man yesterday but the president. I acquiesced to his decision of terminating an undisciplined government official.
      The guy first refused to be tested and secondly refused to get in the ambulance sent him. Where on earth can such TOTAL STUPIDITY take place, given the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic?

      Uncle Hney, a qualified individual has no apprehension or remorse in doing the right thing. You may fire him but if convinced professionally of the decision, mainly concerning public health, he will fear no foes and will care less for personal gains or position but collective livelihood.

      Everyone working at the RIA directly falls under the command of the Manager Director. Given the current pandemic spread, everyone, regardless of position or personality, should be subject to regulations and safety protocols given by health workers. He should have ensured such protocols are respected at the airport. He has the police, immigration, health workers and the airport staff directly working under him. Why would he accept an individual breach important health protocols? He should have subdued the guy to abide by them WILLINGLY OR UNWILLINGLY.
      Our poor people are now exposed to this pandemic, to what level, no one knows. I pray it can be mitigated.

      All schools are currently closed in the Ivory Coast. No foreign nationals from a country with at least 100 coronavirus cases can enter the country. At every point of entry, a strong medical team is on the standby with heavily armed men to make people like Blama to succumb when refused to be quarantined or tested.
      The cases signaled in this country so far are Ivorians who had been in a country with the coronavirus. They are detected and quarantined from the airport.
      Exceptionally, there was a new case of a medical personnel who had come in contact with a patient. To date, there are 4 reported cases in the Ivory Coast.

      I can no longer come to the USA to live permanently. I am almost 50 and greatly integrated in the Ivorian society. I can now only do business or visit the USA. My biggest dream now is to go on the farm, by the time my first son is independent. I love the USA though, but I love and cherish Liberia the best.

    • Kae,

      The first 2 cases in Burkina, a pastor and his wife who had returned from France, were named publicly.
      The Brazilian president is currently quarantined from the virus.
      The Canadian prime minister’s wife is named and quarantined.
      In the Ivory Coast, we know the names of all the 4 people currently quarantined.

      So, this should be no problem. That EPA director is a very WICKED man!

      • No, I don’t think he is wicked, its fear. See, you could have done the same. hide or escape. what will you make of 100 Liberians or You that know they or you have this virus and in most populated counties? they are afraid that The President will announce their or your name(s), and Live with it for over 2weeks, Riding cars, going to church, banks, market, touching goods people buy, or eat, playing with kids, kids playing with other kids, going home. all in the name of they are afraid of their name been called. will you feel good if the President announce that You have HIV/AIDS?

        It not becuz people or their president in America do it or announce people names so we should do the same.

        Its better to say the victim is a male, ages, visited, have X-family members, get the family members, make the correction to prevent it.

        but if you support calling the names of anyone whose gets it, than good for u. maybe the virus will hear their names and go away or the people will start to come out so the president can call each person names to make them famous like he did with the first Victim whose name I can’t call to support the continuous mistake.

        • Kae,

          Sorry if you have any family tie with Mr. BLAMA but stop the useless ranting. It’s not healthy to support or back this wicked man. As much as he’s wicked, no one is going to be wicked to him. He will be well treated, and people will keep him in their prayers.

          To have such contagious pandemic unknowingly or knowingly and play with children or your own family is an exhibition of the highest degree of wickedness.
          To Know that you are from a country affected by the COVID-19 and then refuse to be tested or quarantined and then go home to your family and friends is an exhibition of the highest degree of wickedness for an educated man like Mr. BLAMA.
          To have discovered that he was contaminated and then refused to get into the ambulance sent him is an exhibition of the highest degree of wickedness on the part of a leader like Mr. BLAMA.

          Pray for him Kae, I will also pray for him but Mr. Blama, Managing Director of the Environment Protection Agency of Liberia, is a public enemy and dangerous to the Liberian society. But he will be treated with love and care.

          • You see Kae, his poor house girl has been confirmed to have the virus.
            This is pure wickedness and total disregard for human life.

  7. This is not a matter of been above the law. its been disobedient and disrespectful to authority, not having respect for your life and endangering other citizens.

    However, if the case is truth, dismissal is not a solution. Anyone could do the same.

    This is a health situation and a crisis the world is fighting. All through, I have not hear the name of anyone in Europe or America been dismissed for this or name been announced.

    This is where immaturity, Love for country and people comes. o my God, u got the man. u needed not to disclosed his name. you put he and his family life in danger. Liberians or people may go after him and it will be recorded in History for Liberia. I guess international news may not call his name cuz they are not calling the name of victims in their country due to their life risk involve.

    O Liberia, when will we learn privacy, when will we start to avoid putting each other Lives in danger. in fact the man can sue weah or the govt for putting his Life in danger if anything happen to him or any of his family members.

    It’s good to get him and announce it so you can get money from the international community which I see the govt trying to do cuz they running out of money.

    I hope the world will see that there is a wrong play by the govt, Give a little for support if they want to, go after the money for accountability, and make the govt not to call names of people affected publicly any more. its wrong and unacceptable even if the man refuse testing, you have him. you decide what to do with him.

    its like the govt is joking or playing with this virus. we think its Ebola that u will have to make contact before. No, its airborne Mr. weah. if you are not careful you may get it and lets see if you will feel good when you name is with every one that you have it and if your family will be or feel save in Liberia when your name is call like the way you treating the man.

    God help us all here in Liberia.

    • kae,

      Please put your thoughts together because Liberia is bigger than one man’s family.

      Where in America you live ? There are names made public. 2 members of the house of Representatives, Sen. Ted Cruz (self quarantine), President Trump newly appointed chief of staff (quarantine), Couple of Hollywood stars.(quarantine)

      These names were made public not out a sinister plan but to limit public interactions and public safety.

  8. According to a passage in the Bible, the Master told the crowd that were gathered to stone a woman to death because she was found guilty for prostitution during biblical times, “…ye who is without sin, then let him cast out the first stone.” This story reminds one and it can be compared with the breaching of a very serious international protocol concerning the containment of a virus that has the potential of sweeping scores of precious lives if care is not taken.

    What has raised the issue to its feverish pitch is the president had given an orderly a few days ago for how all citizens should conduct themselves prior to this event, and yet some individuals like, Mr. Blama, who is the EPA director and others, chose to react to his warnings and instructions in their own ways.

    And now, the incident has occurred. However, praying for fire and brim stone to reign down on Blama will not help. In fact, such actions will only promote more fear and hysteria. Let’s gear-up our imagination and do a little reflection. Can this incident come closer to the dastardly and wanton killings of 250,000 of our citizens by vicious individuals, many of whom, as the story goes, are in power today, while the scars of the carnage have left indelible marks on the nation, and while the murderers live fabulously?

    And now, the incident has occurred. However, praying for fire and brimstone to reign down on Blama will not help. In fact, such actions will only promote more fear and hysteria. Let’s gear-up our imagination and do a little reflection. Can this incident come closer to the dastardly and wanton killings of 250,000 of our citizens by vicious individuals, many of whom, as the story goes, are in power today, while the scars of the carnage have left indelible marks on the nation, and while the murderers live fabulously?

    And so, I am not interjecting these remarks to imply that Blama and others were right for their actions. However, just like the lady in the bible who was about to be stoned to death for prostitution and was forgiven, so we as followers of Christ should always set examples in forgiving those who trespass against us and would wish for others to also do the same for us.

    If we as a nation can sit supinely and hopelessly witnessed the economic onslaught of Weah and his government against our impoverished masses, then what makes Blama’s and others’ actions so different and unforgivable?

    In God’s eyes, there are no small sins nor big sins as there no big CDC citizens who can break the laws at any time and get by freely as supposed to small, ordinary citizens who are not allowed to break the laws at all for they will face the full weight of the law.

    To realize a just and equitable society as envisaged by this president, he must enforce the laws of the Republic without fear or favor. Every bad example that he sets, is often imitated by his lieutenants, which consequently comes to haunt his administration.

  9. Uncle Hney,

    Greetings to you and Uncles Aaron and Dolo. Sorry, I was not able to make the trip because of the current crisis, but my sister did make the trip. This means that I will not be able to see you and Uncle Aaron as planned by me. Perhaps next time. No sir, I am not on Whatsapp nor am I on Messenger.

    Concerning Mr. Blama, his story is just a sad one. He should not have done what he did, but for the poor guy to be chased the way he id by his very neighbors, it must have frightened him immensely. I did visit around his home on Tuesday and the neighbors are surrounding his home. Their intent? no one knows.

    We need to put all this brouhaha behind us and fight this thing to the finish. I truly admire China with the aggressive steps they took to severely minimize this virus. No, we are china, but they had a unity of purpose and we can at least do that.

    Nothing is impossible. When the Almighty God created the universe from nothing, he destroyed the impossible. Agree, Uncle Hney?


  10. Hi Joe,

    Sorry to hear Mr. BLAMA’s home was surrounded by the neighbors. I hope the police is going to provide protection for him and family.
    He will get better though, but he and others have been very stupid and wicked to impoverished Liberia.
    At this time where the big nations who would usually come to our aid are themselves hit, I don’t know how we are going to cope if this thing goes beyond control.
    But I believe God is in control.


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