Two French men had suggested that Africa should be a corona virus testing ground. The chief of World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the suggestion as appalling and a relic of colonial mentality.
According to RT, Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht gave their suggestion last week on LCI which is a French TV channel. They also spoke about how Africa is lacking ventilators, masks and treatments.
RT stated that after the chief of WHO’s comment, European footballers that are of African descent also condemned the suggestion. Didier Drogba had called it “absolutely disgusting” and other words. Demba Ba, a French citizen that plays for Turkey and Senegal referred to it as demonstration of banality racism in the West.
It is unfair and creul to suggest that Africa or any nation should be used as guinea pigs, especially since Africa is among the least affected continent by corona virus. Africa has less than 450 deaths and it has less than a thousand confirmed cases.
Jean Paul Mira And Camille Locht’s RESPONSE
Later on, Cochin Hospital released an apology from Paul Mira. He is the head of the Intensive Care Unit at the Cochin Hospital in Paris and he is also the one who started the suggestion. As he apologized, he even added that those remarks do not reflect what he is or what he does everyday.
Camille Locht is a research director at the French national institute of Health and medical Research, and it is also called Inserm. He was the one that agreed to the suggestion, and he was defended by Inserm claiming it to be fake news.
In Morocco, an association of lawyers said that Paul Mira’s suggestion shows hate, discrimination and racism. The association further said that it would file a complaint with the French prosecutor, Association Spokesman and Vice President Mourad Elajouti.
Even France’s opposition social party commented on the suggestion. Olivier Faure who is among them stated that Africa is not a lab for testing guinea pigs. He also said that the suggestion is not a stimulus, but it is racism.
CNN reported that Marianne Séverin who is a French researcher said that their comments tainted the reputation of French Researchers and all researchers who study the African continent.
Jean Paul Mira’s Defense
Africa is a continent just as Europe and Asia are continents. It shouldn’t be treated as lesser, and Africans shouldn’t be used as lab rats. Paul Mira had even went to the extent of making a comparison between Africa with covid-19 vaccines, and prostitutes being tested with AIDs during the suggestion.
However, he later on told Huffington Post that Africa has never been included in such studies before, and that it looked like it was going to be interesting for it to join Australia and France in participating in the studies. He also said that since Africa doesn’t have enough resources of protection against corona virus, it could be more open to harm. Amar Thioune, a member of SOS Racisme stated to Aljazeera, “It’s scandalous to see that not a single regulatory authority has come out to publicly denounce these statements.”