Liberia witnessed an inaugural ceremony when former president George Weah successfully turned power over to Joseph Nyumah Boakai on Monday, January 22, at the National Legislature.

A moment after the turning-over ceremony, Liberia’s new President Boakai was less than 40 minutes into his speech when he was taken off by his security in a live telecast of the event.

There are circulating claims that Boakai fell off stage while reading his inaugural address. The claims are here, here, and here

Verification: It is a fact that the inauguration ceremony for President Boakai was temporarily halted after he reportedly got heat exhaustion during his inaugural address.

President Boakai, who was inducted into office at midday today as required by Article 53 of the 1986 Constitution, had been giving his inauguration speech for more than 30 minutes when the event occurred. The current temperature in Monrovia is 29 degrees Celsius at the ceremony.

The Stage Media contacted Dr. Moses Ziah to get a medical expert’s view on the situation. According to Ziah, heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that typically occurs due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate fluid intake. 

Dr Ziah said common symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and a rapid pulse.

“It’s crucial to move to a cooler environment, rest, and hydrate with water or sports drinks. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, a more severe condition. If symptoms persist or worsen, seeking medical attention is important,” he said.

Dr. Ziah clarified that the incident was not a heat stroke but a heat exhaustion.

Conclusion: TSM cannot give a current update on President Boakai’s health status because none of the party’s officials responded to our inquiry. However, it is safe to say that he did not collapse while reading.


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