Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht, two French doctors, have sparked outrage after they were caught on television discussing “Africa as best destination to conduct test for COVID-19 vaccine”.
In a viral video clip shared on social media on Thursday, the two medical experts cited the use of prostitutes in Africa to carry out test vaccine for the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as instance.
Mira, head of resuscitation department at Cochin Hospital, also pointed out that the continent should be considered because of its perceived toughness to disease outbreaks.
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it has been done in some studies in AIDS, where among prostitutes, we try things, because they are exposed, and they don’t protect themselves, what do you think?,” he asked.
Corroborating with him, Locht, a research director at Inserm, said similar approach could be adopted as ongoing search for COVID-19 vaccine intensifies across the globe.
“So you are right […] we’re thinking in parallel to a study in Africa precisely to make this same type of approach w/ BCG [vaccine] placebo, I think there is a call for tenders that was released or that will be released & I think we will indeed seriously think about that too,” he said.
Apparently cheesed off by their discussion, Rim-Sarah Alouane, a Ph.D student and French researcher, took to Twitter to describe the video as “horrific.”
This is horrific. Two French doctors on live television are discussing how a potential new treatment against #covid19 should be first tested in Africa, "where are no masks, no treatment, no reanimation", "the same way experimental treatment for AIDS was done on prostitutes". https://t.co/ojYb8GnKkI
— Rim-Sarah Alouane (@RimSarah) April 2, 2020
The human rights researcher also said it is unfortunate that “France still thinks Africa should be seen as subjects for experimentation in 2020”.
“It’s 2020 in France &we still see people from Africa as subjects for experimentation. This is what normalized racism looks like,” she added.
It's 2020 in France &we still see people from Africa as subjects for experimentation.This is what normalized racism looks like.AFAIK,nobody jumped in to counter the arguments, both doctors agreed. Same, the way sex-workers are considered: like objects that can be used for tests.
— Rim-Sarah Alouane (@RimSarah) April 2, 2020
“AFAIK, nobody jumped in to counter the arguments, both doctors agreed. Same, the way sex-workers are considered: like objects that can be used for tests.”
As of the time of filing this report, Alouane’s post has been retweeted nearly 10,000 times with the video garnering nearly 2.2 million views.
Samuel Eto, Cameroonian football legend, also expressed his anger on the microblogging platform.
“Assassins!,” Eto’o wrote.
— Samuel Eto'o (@setoo9) April 2, 2020
Here is what some Nigerians had to say:
Jean-Paul Mira is The president of French Intensive Care Society, intensivist in Paris.
— S.DeGwet (@SDeGwet) April 2, 2020
Africa has to become vigilant in the aftermath of Coronavirus possibly during as well.
We MUST NOT allow people test vaccines or drugs on our people because they believe this is the dark continent and everything goes.
— ilsa aida (@IlsaAida) April 2, 2020
For what good reason do they want to test the Coronavirus Vaccine in Africa when it's not even African continent that is highly infected by this Virus? 🤔 If it's a matter of being black, there are black people in Europe & America too… #leaveblackpeoplealone
— Leevi Immanuel® 🇳🇦 (@leevi_immanuel) April 2, 2020
Corona virus has killed more people in Europe, China and America but they feel Africa is the best place to test vaccines when ready.
— Arafrika Sankara (@arafrika) April 2, 2020
African governments must pay attention to incoming threats from the West.
In times of scarcity, attacks on African bodies & our resources are justified.
These medical research French doctors are on television suggesting that Africa be where they test the coronavirus vaccine. https://t.co/kw1F8kClJX
— Doreen 🌴✨ (@DoreenGLM) April 2, 2020
I did say that this is why they've been waiting for Coronavirus to reach Africa & some purposefully travelled here. They want to test their treatments on us first, as usual. Italy has a 12% Covid19 death rate but no talk of starting there. Black bodies are disposable. https://t.co/NADpMSTBc1
— WASH your HANDS (@_afro_politan) April 2, 2020
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