Kukatonon News
Politics

Heat Exhaustion Interrupts Liberian President’s Inauguration Speech

On January 22, 2024, the inauguration ceremony of Joseph Nyumah Boakai, the newly sworn-in president of Liberia, was temporarily suspended due to reports of heat exhaustion.

After giving his inaugural speech for more than 30 minutes, President Boakai, 80, started to exhibit symptoms of heat exhaustion. The President, dressed in traditional country fabric, was helped to a seated position as the heat was clearly affecting him.

Kukatonon News’ website weather update shows 31.9 degrees Celsius (87.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at the time of the inauguration.

Officers in charge of security intervened right away to try and fan him till he calmed down. Sources affirm that President Boakai is doing well despite the unplanned disruption. Following the tragedy, the inauguration ceremony—a historic occasion for Liberia—could not go forward.

With the Government of Liberia providing US$650,000 for the occasion, the inauguration of President-elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Vice President-elect Jeremiah Kpang Koung had been greatly anticipated.

This incident emphasizes how leaders are subjected to physical demands during major public events and how crucial it is to plan ahead and take necessary safeguards to protect their health.

Lois Paybayee
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