Senate Suspends Sittings for 1 Week over COVID-19 Scare

The President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert T. Chie

According to the government’s own Coronavirus guidelines, the Vice President, Pro Tempore and the 29 Senators should go into self-quarantine for the next 2 weeks

The Coronavirus has hit the Senate this week, through the Senate’s Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi, who has been tested positive for the virus, compelling the Senate to suspend session for one week amid fear of a presumed massive spread.

Mrs. Massaquoi, according to reports, has been seen lately reading the agendas of the Senate during sessions in the absence of Secretary Nanborlor F. Singbeh, Sr, as well as distributing documents, visiting offices of most of the Senators including Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and President Pro Tempore Albert Chie for consultations, preparations of agendas and other clerical matters.

“Due to the Assistant Secretary of the Senate- Madam Jannave Verdier-Massaquoi having been tested positive of the Coronavirus, the Senate has suspended its sittings for this Session period for one week beginning June 16, 2020 to observe the situation. Determination to either resume session next week will be made over the weekend,” Senate Press Director Jarlawah Tonpo said.

He added: “The Assistant Secretary of the Senate is currently at the 14 Military Hospital undergoing treatment. She is lively in speech, hopeful in prayer and trusting God as a Deaconess to recover soon.”

Tonpo added: “The President of the Senate, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, the President Pro Tempore, Albert T. Chie and Members of the Senate are in deep sorrow with her situation and have wished her speedy recovery.”

According to Tonpo, the Secretary of the Senate has closed the Secretariat for two weeks beginning June 16, 2020.

Mrs. Massaquoi-Verdier is the first infection at the Senate who has access to the Vice President, who is the President of the Senate and all the Senators.

The Daily Observer has gathered most of the Senators are claiming that had very little contact with the Secretary of the Senate. But the Ministry of Health has urged people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home and away from others who haven’t been exposed to the virus, for 14 days.

Rep. Samuel Kogar of Nimba County District #5 and Rep. Francis Dopoh self-quarantined themselves for 14 days when they were exposed.

Currently, the House’s Judiciary Chairman, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa is also self-quarantining himself after been exposed to one of his securities, who was infected.

The coronavirus is highly contagious and may spread easily between people who aren’t showing symptoms, which is why it is critical for people to stay home when they’ve been exposed to a sick person, even if they are not feeling ill.

The Senate has a workforce of about 900 persons (including the Vice President, the Senators, Support Staff and Central Administration) who are at a much higher risk of developing some of the virus’s most severe complications, making social distancing even more critical for all of them.


  1. These lawmakers just love to take advantage of situations. Free time and free money, and doing nothing but to get paid. There is a whole lot to be investigated and discussed concerning yet another 9 to 10 million US dollars and it’s where about. The amount of money being stolen is not chicken fees. 16 billion dollars in local currency taken out of the economy actually hurt the nation. 25 million US dollars taken out of the economy hurt the country. Another 9 to 10 million US dollars out of the economy is bad news for the country. And the passing of fake legislations at the request of George, whereby lawmakers will pay themselves, all adds up to another million of millions of US dollars taken out of the economy for personal pleasure. Now they are about to take advantage of another situation created by the Coronavirus to leave town. It is a constitutional protected mandate that the lawmakers stay in town or in the capital or in session during the state of emergency. Can’t leave town to go to your county or to sit on your farms or to visit friends or relatives outside of the capital or a quick visit out of the country to Ghana. All lawmakers are to make themselves available at all times and not leave the capital, which is the sitting of the legislature during this period of emergency. It is understood that the virus may have contaminated the House of Laws, but that is no reason to violate the constitution again to leave town . You all are mandated to remain in session and make yourselves available during the state of emergency. Don’t Leave Town ! A civics lesson to these cowardly and lazy lawmakers from James Davis.

  2. I pray that they all get corona and suffer like they are suffering the Liberian people. I will fast and pray that they catch it quick.

  3. Cooper Kweme

    Unfortunately, for many Liberians, I say dishearteningly the tribe is still taking precedence above the love of one’s country in Liberia. To understand how tribal (ism) works against the progress of our nation, one needs to just take a look at how racism in America militates against the national progress of its great people.

    The defense mechanism of the pro-tribal advocate in Liberia is, “Are you crazy? Who told you say anymore tribal (ism) in Liberia? No more tribal (ism) here. We all one.”

    On the other hand, some recent developments under the current administration of Weah have pointed out that the country is gradually finding itself in even greater socio-ethnic and socio-economic divides.

    When I see the name, Leroy Sonpon, the first thought that dawns on me is, he is a Liberian, who genuinely loves his country, and is making an invaluable contribution towards its development through the prestigious journalism profession. He does his profession well as he often strives for objectivity.

  4. With all the descriptions Mr.Sonpon,lll gave about himself, his family, his profession, his contact and the news story he wrote, all you guys can cherry pick and think about is his tribe. Well too bad, you are the ones that are tribal here to me. get over it.

    Mr. Sonpon, please continue to be proud of your ethnicity if it is important to you.


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