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Thursday, July 29, 2021

When Community Engagement Restored Trust and Raised Public Index of Suspicion for COVID-19

Kampala, 4 September 2020:- When the World Health Organization (WHO), declared the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic, on 11th March 2020, many Ugandans didn’t take it seriously with many saying it was a disease for the affluent, the very high class or for developed countries. As the disease ravaged the entire world, Ugandans…
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    “I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science,” was the beginning of Stewart’s entertaining riff. 

    When Colbert asked if he believes that there is a chance that the virus was created in a lab, Stewart answered: “A chance? Oh my God there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan China what do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask: the Wuhan Novel Respiratory Coronavirus Lab – the disease is the same name as the lab.” Wuhan was the first city where the virus was detected in December 2019. 

    Throughout the interview, Stewart was enthusiastic about his opinions, dramatically dabbing his face with his tie, banging his hands on the table and not allowing Colbert to interrupt him or finish a sentence.

    Stewart also mocked the different theories that have been suggested as the cause for the virus outbreak, such as interaction between different animals as well as spreading through bats. He went so far as to compare the speculations to an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania, saying “oh, I don’t know – maybe a steam shovel made it with a cocoa bean.”

    Colbert suggested that the lab in Wuhan was built due to the amount of coronavirus diseases created in the area because of the bat population, which Stewart dismissed by claiming there are many places with large populations of bats. 

    “Stop with the logic, and people and things… the name of the disease is on the building” – the name of the lab seems to show the main and only source of evidence for Stewart.  The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has two labs that deal with coronaviruses, but nothing on their website suggests that the labs have any official names. 

    It is important to note that coronavirus is a collective name for a series of viruses that cause respiratory tract infections and that there is no official evidence to confirm the Wuhan lab leak theory.

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