REMINDER: Tanzanian President John Magufuli Was Ardently Against COVID-19 Lockdowns and Vaccines Prior to His Mysterious Death in March 2021


Here’s a reminder that Tanzanian President John Magufuli was ardently against COVID-19 lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccines prior to his death due to “heart complications” in March of 2021. Before his death, which came after a mysterious, multiple-week disappearance from public life, Magufuli said the PCR tests for COVID-19 were faulty and proved their unreliability by turning up positive results from a jackfruit, a pawpaw fruit, and a goat.

In March 2021, then President of Tanzania John Magufuli was pronounced dead after he’d been missing for over two weeks. In the months preceding his death, Magufuli had made headlines for being one of the few political leaders across the globe vocally criticizing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) response to COVID-19, as well as the groupthink surrounding the pandemic narrative.

Magufuli boldly criticized the efficacy of masks (although he eventually said masks made in Tanzania were worthwhile, for whatever reason), COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccinations, despite Western influences pushing all of those measures in the African country. The Guardian even ran an opinion piece in February 2021 titled “It’s time for Africa to rein in Tanzania’s anti-vaxxer president.” (The Guardian noted on its page that the article was funded, in part, thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)

Despite the pressure, however, the African leader refused to establish any sort of long-term coronavirus-related containment measures in his country. Which, of course, have been proven to be enormously damaging and utterly ineffective.

In May 2020, Magufuli appeared in front of a large crowd of supporters to promote distrust and skepticism of COVID-19 testing kits imported into the country. The African leader said Tanzanian security forces performed COVID-19 tests on fruit products, a goat, motor oil, and a sheep, to check the quality of the kits. They assigned the samples human names and identities before sending them to a local laboratory for analysis. Many of the results came back as positive for SARS-CoV-2 or inconclusive.

“You must know there is a dirty game played in these tests,” Magufuli said of the tests’ results.

Calling for an investigation into the kits—and suggesting the pandemic was a manufactured crisis—Magufuli proclaimed, “There is something happening. I said before we should not accept that every aid is meant to be good for this nation.”

“Vaccines are not good. If they were, then the white man would have brought vaccines for HIV/AIDS,” Magufuli said in a January 2021 speech. Citing his faith in God’s protection, Magufuli added, “we Tanzanians haven’t locked ourselves in and we don’t expect to lock ourselves down. I don’t expect to announce any lockdown because our God is living and He will continue to protect Tanzanians.”

The Lancet also quoted Magufuli as saying in a speech that “Vaccinations are dangerous” and that “If the White man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for AIDS by now; he would have found a vaccination [for] tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now.”

These moves infuriated WHO leaders, many of whom attempted to pressure Magufuli to accept and disseminate COVID-19 vaccinations. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for example, called for the Tanzanian government to “take robust action both to safeguard their own people and protect populations in these countries and beyond.”

The director-general also called for WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti to pressure Tanzania to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations across the country. Moeti’s efforts were unsuccessful to the unfazed Magufuli, however.

By March 2021, Magufuli had gone missing.

Following his death, multiple media outlets rushed to fact check any claims Magufuli’s death had anything to do with the fact that he had rejected the COVID injections. BBC News reported the 61-year-old public official died of “heart complications” at a hospital.

Interestingly, despite any feelings about how reasonable it was for Magufuli to die of heart complications at his age, many Twitter users predicted he could—or would—meet his demise due to his refutation of all (or at least most) things related to COVID fearmongering.

“Oh dear a president who is developing his countries [sic] massive fossil fuel reserves and isn’t with the Covid programme. He better watch himself,” Thomas Ferguson said in a tweet posted February 9, 2021, 18 days before Magufuli’s last public appearance.

“Bet he gets cancer or they kill him off through some government coup de’etat uprising or maybe the same way they killed Gaddafi?” Dark_knight_Returns said in a tweet posted a day prior to Ferguson’s.

Feature image: GovernmentZA

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