President Sirleaf Undergoes Routine Medical Checkup in USóGets Clean Bill of Health

Monday, 28th April 2008
Members of the Press:
Let me welcome you all to another Executive Mansion Press briefing session this Monday, April 28, 2008. Audio for this and other sessions can also be accessed on our website:  

  • Let us begin by congratulating the Management of the News newspaper, on the occasion last week, marking the 19th anniversary of the existence of the paper. The news has and continues to be a responsible partner in the development of this country.  We are pleased to have such a responsible independent media institution playing its part towards the reconstruction and renewal of our country.  Our Office wishes the management and staff of the News success, as together we strive to undertake programs that would improve the welfare of the country and its people.
  • As you may already be aware, the President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is currently in the United States, where she arrived last week following an official visit to Denmark. The President is using her visit to the United States to, among other activities, hold informal meetings with officials of the United States government and undergo a routine medical examination.  

The week long exercise has been concluded, and I am pleased to inform you that the process has been very successful.  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been given a clean bill of health. The President, let me state unequivocally, is fit as a fiddle.

The week long medical examination of the President was conducted at the Bridgeport General Hospital in Connecticut, the United States, under the supervision of several physicians who work in the Bridgeport Yale University system. Let me add here that the Presidentís son, Dr. Adamah Sirleaf, is also a physician at the Bridgeport General Hospital.

As part of the medical examination, the President endured a stress test, with an intensity closed to a similar one she underwent in preparation for the 2005 elections.

The President is now in Washington, D.C., where she is holding informal meetings with a number of U.S. government officials. The President is also holding meetings with members of the International Senior Lawyers Project, a team of international lawyers assisting Government on a pro bono basis, with concession negotiations involving a few potential investors.

  • The President, who is a staunch Methodist, leaves for Fort Worth, Texas, Tuesday to deliver a keynote address at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, expected to host about 300,000 delegates. The Methodist Church in Liberia, as you know, has and continues to play a paramount role in Governmentís development programs, particularly in the educational, health, agricultural and social welfare programs of the country. The President will use her address to the Global Methodist Conference to thank the Church for its support for Liberia over the years, and highlight the challenges the country now faces.

She returns to New York Wednesday at a forum held under the auspices of the International Crisis Group.  The President, who served as a Board Member of the ICG a few years ago, will receive an award from the Group. 

The President concludes her trip to the United States Friday, with an address at Indiana University where she is to receive an honorary degree, to be conferred by this leading American Higher Institution of learning.

The President concludes her trip to the United States Friday, with an address at Indiana University where she is to receive an honorary degree, to be conferred by this leading American higher institution of learning.

Throughout her visit abroad, President Johnson Sirleaf has been in close consultation with key members of Government, including the Vice President, the Chairman of the Cabinet, the Minister of State and other officials of Government. The President returns to the country early next week.

  • Finally, the Chief Executive is deeply troubled over the trend of events at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) involving one of its Commissioners. She believes that the misunderstanding at the Commission would be solved at the earliest, to enable this very vital arm of our countryís recovery process to continue with its duties without any undue distractions.

Regarding Commissioner Bull and the decision by the Commissionís Chairman to have her suspended, the President is of the view that high level Presidential appointments confirmed by the Liberian senate could be dismissed only upon Presidential approval or recommendation of the agency concerned. The Chairman of the TRC, Cllr. Verdier, has pointed out to the President that the legislation of the Commission gave the Chairman some extraordinary authority.

This is a legal issue which is being researched.  However, although the President holds a different perspective on the removal or suspension of high level appointees, in this case a TRC commissioner, the President had no part to play in the decision of Commissioner Bull to take the TRC to the Supreme Court.