Episode 52: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ for Tanzania’s John Magufuli, who’s been missing

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who hasn’t been seen in public since Feb. 27, takes the oath of office before beginning his first term in 2015. It remains to be seen whether he turned the Bible he’s holding into a divine coronavirus vaccine. Photo: Paul Kagame.

In this episode, we offer “thoughts and prayers” for Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, Africa’s Covid-19 denier-in-chief, who hasn’t been seen in public since Feb. 27 and is rumored to be hospitalized outside his country.

Word from the Motherland is that Magufuli, 61, who defied World Health Organization recommendations and stopped reporting his country’s coronavirus cases in May, has finally caught the virus and is in intensive care in a hospital somewhere between Kenya and India.

For much of the past year, Tanzanians have gone about their business as if the pandemic doesn’t exist, although some acknowledge there is an increase in cases of “pneumonia.” As you would expect, Magufuli is an anti-vaccine religious wacko who believes, “Vaccinations are dangerous. If white people were able to come up with vaccinations, a vaccination for AIDS would have been found.”

And, oh, he has a PhD in Chemistry, though, we suspect he fried his brains by getting high on the chemicals he was supposed to use for laboratory experiments.

If it’s true that Magufuli has finally caught the virus he’s been blowing kisses to for a year, does he deserve to live? And if the man known as “the Bulldozer” bulldozes through the virus, will he finally accept that it’s real?

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