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Stella Immanuel – the doctor behind unproven coronavirus cure claim

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Dr Stella Immanuel is also a Christian pastor and founder of a church in Houston

Stella Immanuel, a doctor at the centre of a controversy over unproven and potentially dangerous claims that an anti-malaria drug can treat Covid-19, is no stranger to conspiracy theories.

Facebook and Twitter have taken down the viral video in which she appears, saying it violates their policies about misinformation – but not before it was retweeted by Donald Trump and one of his sons.

The US president defended himself, saying he found Dr Immanuel, who was born in Cameroon and is based in the Texan city of Houston, “very impressive”.

“She said that she had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients, I thought her voice was an important voice but I know nothing about her,” he said on Tuesday.

Dr Immanuel, who is also a Christian pastor, gave a speech on the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington, captured in a video first published by right-wing website Breitbart on Monday.

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Dr Stella said taking hydroxychloroquine was common in Cameroon and therefore not harmful

Along with other medics from a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, she said that Americans were being denied a potential cure for Covid-19.

“Nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure – it is called hydroxychloroquine, I have treated over 350 patients and not had one death,” said Dr Immanuel.

Despite some early studies raising hopes that the drug could be used to cure coronavirus, one subsequent larger scale trial has shown it is not effective as a treatment.

More about hydroxychloroquine:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has halted its trials, saying it doesn’t reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against using the drug to treat coronavirus patients, following reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” and other health issues.

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Media captionTrump in May 2020: “If it’s not good, I’ll tell you right, I’m not going to get hurt by it”

And Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, has reiterated these views.

“We know that every single good study – and by good study I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19,” he told the BBC on Wednesday.

But Dr Immanuel has insisted taking hydroxychloroquine is not harmful because it is widely taken in her home country of Cameroon, where malaria is endemic.

Witches and demons

Born in 1965, Dr Immanuel graduated with a medical degree from the University of Calabar in neighbouring Nigeria – and has a valid doctor’s licence, according to the website of the Texas Medical Board.

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Hydroxychloroquine has long been used as a treatment for malaria

She is also a pastor and the founder of Fire Power Ministries in Houston, a platform she has used to promote other conspiracies about the medical profession.

Her sermons are available on a YouTube account set up in 2009.

Five years ago, she alleged that alien DNA was being used in medical treatments, and that scientists were cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.

Some of her other claims include blaming medical conditions on witches and demons – a common enough belief among some evangelical Christians – though she says they have sex with people in a dream world.

“They turn into a woman and then they sleep with the man and collect his sperm… then they turn into the man and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves,” she said during a sermon in 2013.

Another issue that Dr Immanuel targets is gay marriage, saying it can result in adults marrying children, according to the Daily Beast.

She also offers a prayer to remove a generational curse, originally received from an ancestor, but transmitted through placenta, the news website’s profile of her says.

‘Jesus will shut Facebook’

In her latest video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, she asks patients she says she has cured of Covid-19 to come forward.

“If you don’t speak up we are getting trashed,” she says, encouraging them to use a hashtag when they post their video messages.

Her tweet has had more than 27,000 retweets.

After Facebook took down the America’s Frontline Doctors’ video on Tuesday, she declared that Jesus Christ would destroy the social media giant’s servers if her videos were not restored to the platform.

Facebook has not reported an interruption on its services.

Who are the America Frontline Doctors?

It is a collection of physicians critical of the scientific consensus around the Covid-19 pandemic. The event on Monday was backed by the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative organisation seeking to re-elect President Trump.

The doctors believe neither masks nor shutdowns are necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The group’s founder, Simone Gold, organised a letter to Mr Trump calling for an end to lockdown measures in May.

Participants were encouraged to seek out interviews with social media influencers, as this was determined to be the best way to reach Americans.

Ralph Norman, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, was standing alongside the doctors when they delivered their news conference.

The debate has been increasingly dividing Americans along political lines, with proponents of hydroxychloroquine pointing to President Trump’s support of it while accusing critics of covering up its potential effectiveness.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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Museveni issues ultimatum to police boss

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Museveni flagged off distribution of motorcycles for NRM chairpersons

President Yoweri Museveni has given Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola a chilling ultimatum: You either do your work or I will do it myself!

Museveni disclosed the ultimatum he gave to the IGP today Monday at the NRM secretariat at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala where he was flagging off the distribution of motorcycles to parish chairpersons of the ruling National Resistance Movement party across the country. 

“I told the IGP that if the police doesn’t do their work, I will do it myself by arresting the police officers themselves,” Museveni stunned his audience as he commented on the electoral violence that marred the NRM primaries held on Friday last week. At least 4 people were killed across the country during the primaries. 

“There was violence in Bukono county [Namutumba district] where people were beaten. I got information that police has not done much work. Some (policemen) have been arrested and given police bond; there is no police bond for somebody who has attacked Ugandans!,” Museveni added. 

Museveni vowed to deal with all persons who messed up the party primaries.  In some parts of the country, there were massive regularities where candidates who had been defeated ended up being announced winners. In some places like Namutumba, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Jinja, Katakwi, among others, there was violence that led to the killing and wounding of civilians. Museveni said that they are going to make sure that all those who participated in these irregularities and violence are held to account. 

Museveni said although the violence was orchestrated by the politicians, the police personnel are to be held accountable for failing to contain it.

Last week, police spokesman Fred Enanga warned police personnel especially those guarding VIPs against being drawn into the politicians’ political wrangles, reminding them that they would face the music if they did. With the president now threatening to go and conduct the arrests of errant policemen himself, IGP Ochola is likely to move fast to avert the spectacle. 

Museveni wondered why police would shoot at unarmed people who were fighting amongst themselves: “That policeman must be arrested; even the ones who are threatening people you will go to jail for that if we get evidence,” a seemingly incensed Museveni said.

He also said that the state minister of Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana who was captured on camera attempting to shoot people over the weekend in Ntugamo after he lost the  Rushenyi primaries, will be charged with threatening violence and attempted murder. 

 “This game is finished,” Museveni said.

Rukatana has since been charged and remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district in western Uganda. Museveni called upon all those dissatisfied with the election results to write petitions to the regional panels of elders which he said are going to be constituted to hear all election complaints.

“We are going to get three respected people who are not part of the struggles, then we shall go and audit village per village and we shall discover. If you have committed forgery, the registrar or the politician who ordered,  you all shall go to jail. The game is finished; the voting is by lining and if you miss-add, you are ‘miss-add’ yourself,” Museveni said.

Museveni’s speech came shortly before that of Justine Kasule Lumumba, the secretary general of the NRM who called upon the president to reign over some senior people who with impunity were freely changing the results of the elections.

“Some of our staff were lured into changing declaration forms on the way forgetting that people who had participated at the village don’t need to write; they registered the record in their faces…Some have done things with impunity… in Butemba county Kyakwanzi district, one of the candidates who got 3,000 votes brought in soldiers, cordoned off that place and was declared a winner and off they went away,” Lumumba said. 

The ball is now in Ochola’s court to get the police to execute their duties professionally and with impartiality. In March 2017, President Museveni warned Ochola’s predecessor Kale Kayihura to clean the police force of wrong elements. As months passed with no visible sign of police officers shaping up, Museveni resorted to other security agencies who started arresting rogue senior police officers and charging them in the military court for various crimes.

Kayihura was then removed from office, arrested and jointly charged with the errant officers in the army court. To avoid similar fate, Ochola is likely to use a firmer hand on the police officers so that by the time of the February 2021 elections, there is no laxity in the force’s execution of its mandate to maintain law and order.





Source – observer.ug

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