Tanzania’s COVID-denying president dies after positive diagnosis

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, who has notoriously downplayed the coronavirus pandemic, has died a week after he reportedly contracted the virus. He was 61-years-old.

Related story: Tanzania’s covid-denying president reportedly contracted virus

According to the country’s vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, Magufuli died of a “heart complication” at a hospital in Dar es Salaam.

“It is with deep regret that I inform you that today… we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli,” Hassan said in the announcement.

She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half-mast.

Magufuli was an infamous skeptic of the coronavirus pandemic, referring to it as simply a “respiratory disease”, pushing local remedies as treatment, and saying that God would protect Tanzanians.