by WorldTribune Staff, February 28, 2020
Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar, known as “Screaming Mary,” is the latest Iranian government official to be diagnosed with coronavirus, reports say.
Earlier this week, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi and member of parliament Mahmud Sadagi announced that they were infected with the disease.
Ebtekar, spokeswoman for the 1979 Iranian hostage-takers, has contracted the virus, Iranian media reported Thursday.
She was seen sitting next to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a meeting of Iranian cabinet members on Wednesday.
Ebtekar was known as “Mary” and also “Screaming Mary” during the 1979 crisis when Iranian revolutionaries seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran and held American diplomats hostage. Throughout the 444-day crisis Ebtekar would go on television to scream and rant against U.S. imperialism, Arutz Sheva noted in a Feb. 27 report.
An Iranian health ministry spokesman said on Friday that 34 people have died in Iran of coronavirus so far and that 388 are infected.
Iran’s reported mortality rate — now just nine under percent — surpasses the rate for other countries by a wide margin.
BBC Persian, citing Iranian hospital sources, reported that at least 210 people have died from coronavirus in Iran.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress Friday that the U.S. had offered to help Iran respond to the virus.
“We have made offers to the Islamic Republic of Iran to help, and we’ve made it clear to others around the world and in the region that assistance, humanitarian assistance to push back against the coronavirus in Iran is something the United States of America fully supports,” Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.