Tanzania’s Leader Denies COVID. Now Countrymen Push Back.

FILE - In this June 1, 2020, file photo, truck drivers entering Kenya queue to be tested for the coronavirus on the Kenya side of the Namanga border crossing with Tanzania. Tanzania's President John Magufuli openly expressed doubt about COVID-19 vaccines and accused people who were vaccinated outside the East African nation of bringing new infections into the country. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)

(AP) — Tanzania’s president says God has eliminated COVID-19 in his country. His own church now begs to differ. The local Catholic authority warned this week of a new wave of coronavirus infections, and government institutions now require staffers to take precautions.

Suddenly, populist President John Magufuli is being openly questioned as the African continent sees a strong resurgence in cases. And yet he questions the COVID-19 vaccines that have begun arriving in Africa.

One African health official warns Tanzania that “if we do not fight this as a collective on the continent, we will be doomed.” Tanzania stopped updating its virus numbers in April, at 509 cases.


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