The New Arab

Muqtada al-Sadr rejects US-produced 'infidel' coronavirus vaccine

Firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has a dedicated following among young Iraqis [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 March, 2020

Iraq's influential cleric Muqtada Sadr blamed Donald Trump for the spread of COVID-19 and announced he would not take any cure produced by the 'infidel' United States.
Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been mocked online after tweeting he would not accept any coronavirus cure made by the "infidel" United States, as the outbreak's death toll continues to mount.

The influential Shia leader posted on Wednesday addressing US President Trump, blaming him for the spread of the disease and accusing the US of having the most coronavirus cases.

"Trump, you have filled the world with wars, occupations and poverty, and now you claim that you are the healer.. But this disease is spreading because of your awful policies," his statement said.

He said that he does not want any medicine from Trump because he is an "infidel", adding that he and his supporters rely solely on God for the treatment of diseases.

Social media users slammed the tweet, accusing Sadr of hypocrisy, as US-made drugs are widely used in Iraq.

Others called on Sadr to cooperate with the rest of the world in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, that risks turning into a humanitarian crisis if it spreads widely in Iraq.

Iraq's health ministry confirmed 79 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with the death toll having risen to eight.

Baghdad has been quick to take measures to contain the spread of the disease, shutting down schools and universities last week and banning travel to virus-hit states.

The government will also closed all land borders with Iran and Kuwait as of 16 March, and has banned travel to and from China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Bahrain, France and Spain.

The global death toll from the virus is over 4,700 with more than 127,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organisation.



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