“Trump offers $2.5 million to Madagascar to develop the Covid-19 remedy,” reads the headline of an article by the Zambian Observer.
The US has granted Madagascar US$2.5 million in health assistance during the Covid-19 outbreak.
But is the money “to develop the Covid-19 remedy”?
Madagascar president’s ‘cure’
The World Health Organization and African Union have advised that it be properly tested for safety and efficacy before it is prescribed as a cure. The Zambian Observer does not mention the tonic by name.
‘Strengthen health response across the country’
Pelletier announced the US aid package on 20 April. US president Donald Trump does not appear to have commented on the donation, and official statements have not mentioned development of a remedy.
In a video announcing the aid package, Pelletier said: “This money will be used to strengthen the health response across the country including hospitals, laboratories, and community health.”
There is no mention of the money being earmarked to develop the remedy. Instead, official announcements have emphasised testing, education, and tracing efforts, as well as what Pelletier called a longstanding mission to “build resilient health care systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks”.
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