If You Have COVID, Don’t Call The Witch-Doctor
COVID-19 is the most controversial infection since AIDS. Does it really exist? Obviously something exists; this isn’t a case of mass hysteria, but its origins are still shrouded in mystery and perhaps always will be because nobody trusts the government, least of all the Chinese Government. There is controversy too over its mortality rate; is it really killing hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, or are people dying of COVID instead of influenza at about the same rate?
These are legitimate questions, whatever Twitter, Google, or any other tech company thinks, but if the questions are legitimate, some of the answers are not. For example, in South London, a so-called faith healer with the alluring name of Bishop Climate Wiseman (also known as Prophet Climate Wiseman) has been selling “plague protection kits” for £91. Or rather he was until the Charity Commission stepped in.
The Kingdom Church GB is a registered charity. According to its financial data for the year ending December 31, 2018, it had a total income of £368,790 of which it spent £367,648. An obvious question here is why is this the latest set of its accounts, could it be because the good Bishop has flogged more than a thousand of the aforementioned plague protection kits? You won’t need a calculator to work out how much that comes to: 91 times £1,000 is, uh, big money, even if one allows for the cost of its anointing oils, packaging and postage.
It is difficult to believe anyone would take this sort of nonsense seriously in this day and age, in the UK or anywhere else, but there is plenty of this kind of voodoo being peddled elsewhere. Last August, the Financial Times no less ran the headline: Mobilise traditional African medicine against Covid-19 in which author Patrick Gathara suggested that while quacks and fraudsters do exist: “there is compelling evidence that the majority of practitioners are skilled and experienced, and that their herbal prescriptions can be effective”.
The reference to quacks is attributed to President Jomo Kenyatta in 1969 who is said to have condemned traditional healers as “lazy cheats who want to live on the sweat of others”.
Kenyatta may have been an “anti-Imperialist” but he was educated by the Church Of Scotland, and was smart enough to realise that “White Man’s medicine” was superior to juju or whatever was practised on the Dark Continent before it was colonised by Europeans. Sadly, some Indian politicians are not up to speed. Last December, a so-called herbal remedy was being sold in the UK; the BBC sent a sample to a leading virologist who debunked the claims being made about it, but at the beginning of this month, it was reported that Indian Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had endorsed it, albeit with qualification.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.