Even during the deadly coronavirus pandemic, society cannot stop itself from falling prey to its wildest instincts. Two French doctors have been accused of vicious racism on a French TV programme on the channel LCI.
The two suggested that the vaccine that any potential vaccine should first be tested on the people of Africa. This was in the context of the vaccine trials being done on the people of Europe and Australia. The BCG Tuberculosis vaccine is being seen as the potential antidote for the great virus.
These insensitive statements were not taken with kindness by the African community. Let’s see what the entire incident is about.
WHAT DID THE FRENCH DOCTORS SAY ABOUT CORONAVIRUS?
This was the first statement that caught ire –
“It may be provocative. Should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it’s been done for certain AIDS studies, where among prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and don’t protect themselves?” said Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris.
This was met with agreement by Camille Locht, who is the research director at France’s National Health Institute –
“You are right. And by the way, we are thinking of in parallel about a study in Africa using this same approach.”
It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this.
Africa isn’t a testing lab.
I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racists words.
Helps us save Africa with the current ongoing Covid 19 and flatten the curve. pic.twitter.com/41GIpXaIYv
— Didier Drogba (@didierdrogba) April 2, 2020
As was expected, this received a massive backlash on social media. Prominent among these was the Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba –
“Africa isn’t a testing lab. I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words.”
Olivier Faure, of France’s Socialist Party, said the marks were hardly a provocation. “It’s not provocation, it’s just racism,” he wrote on Twitter. “Africa is not the laboratory of Europe. Africans are not rats.”
Let’s hope that the doctors realize their mistakes and apologize.