Govt condemns fake article on President Granger’s health
– says it was specially designed to mislead the nation
Government has wasted no time in responding to a news article published by an online media outfit that reported President David Granger cannot speak due to cancer in his throat.
A statement from the Ministry of the Presidency on Sunday claims the article is totally false, and has explained that the President can communicate, and did so before his recent departure to Cuba.
The President had explained in a video that the Centro de Investigaciones Médico Quirúrgicas CIMEQ had drafted a schedule of treatment which will run until May 2019.
The Ministry of the Presidency statement said, “While the Government of Guyana respects the fundamental right of its citizens to freedom of speech as well as press freedom, it condemns in the strongest possible way the publishing of misinformation, untruths”.
The Ministry of the Presidency has called on the public not to be duped by the misinformation, falsehoods and distortions consistently being published by that news agency.
“Despite the Ministry of the Presidency’s issuing of several press releases and videos of the Head of State on the issue of his health…they continue to spread fake news via (their) website and Facebook page with the intent of causing public mischief and panic,” it observed.
On the morning of Tuesday, December 4, President Granger left Guyana, accompanied by his wife, Sandra Granger, for his second round of chemotherapy
Prior to departing the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the President said he has to return to Cuba for five successive cycles, and this would be his second cycle.
“I hope to return much more quickly than I did the first visit, because this is simply the administration of chemotherapy; so, presumably after the tests, which will be done today (Tuesday), I will have the chemotherapy and return by weekend,” he said.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency, Granger will return to Cuba later this month for his third round of treatment. “I expect that by the start of the New Year, my progress, which has been gradual so far, will be sufficient to allow me to take on more duties,” he said. The Head of State added that he was very grateful for all the prayers and get-well messages he has received for his full and complete recovery, especially from Caribbean Heads of Government, business leaders, his colleagues, the churches, and the public, and particularly from those who held vigils while he was in Cuba.
“I think my illness, although personally unfortunate, has brought forth a response by the Guyanese public, not to a politician, not to a political leader, but to a national President. I think they feel the Presidency is what is being jeopardised by this threat to my health; and I think what I have seen so far, both privately and publicly, are favourable national concerns that the Head of State, whomever he may be, should enjoy the best health,” he said.
The President and the First Lady travelled to Cuba on October 30, 2018 for him to undergo medical tests after he complained of feeling unwell. It was later revealed that the Head of State was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system. Clear fluid, called lymph, containing infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes, flows through the lymphatic vessels.
Granger was discharged from the hospital on November 6 after undergoing a series of tests and surgical procedures. He returned to Guyana on November 20, after he was given approval by his medical team to travel.
According to webmd.com, chemotherapy targets cells that grow and divide quickly, as cancer cells do. Unlike radiation or surgery, which target specific areas, chemo can work throughout the body. But it can also affect some fast-growing healthy cells, like those of the skin, hair, intestines, and bone marrow.
That’s what causes some of the side effects from the treatment. According to the website, some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy are fatigue, hair loss, easy bruising and bleeding, infection, anaemia (low red blood cell count), nausea and vomiting, appetite changes, and constipation.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during his weekly post-Cabinet briefing on Friday last, disclosed that even though President Granger’s workload has been reduced, he remains in charge of the State’s business.
The President and the First Lady had travelled to Trinidad and Tobago in May of this year to undergo what was referred to as their annual medical check-up. At the time, and in response to reports in the press, the Government had revealed that the couple did their examinations under a Caribbean medical insurance scheme at the Good Health Medical Centre. Those results, Government had said, indicated a clean bill of health.