7 Apr 2020
Here we go again! Medical Apartheid 101: Black bodies continue to be Biological Playgrounds
“heretofore in literature, as in medicine, the Negro has been written about, exploited and experimented upon sometimes not to his physical betterment or to the advancement of science, but the advancement of the Nordic investigator.”
Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital in Paris, then says:
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation?”
“A bit like as it is done elsewhere for some studies on Aids. In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”
But Inserm said in a statement that the video was “the subject of erroneous interpretations”.
“If there is indeed a reflection around a deployment in Africa, it would be done in parallel with these. Africa must not be forgotten or excluded from research because the pandemic is global.”
“The epicenter of COVID-19 (Coronavirus ) is China, Italy, Spain, France, US. Clinical trials on its possible cure must start there and not in any African country. African leaders must resist any attempt to use our people as Guinea pigs. Resist.”
“we will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world using exactly the same rule … whether it is in Europe, Africa or wherever….To be honest I was so appalled and it was a time when I said we needed solidarity. These kind of racist remarks will not help. It goes against the solidarity… The hangover from colonial mentality has to stop. WHO will not allow this to happen. It was a disgrace actually, appalling to hear during the 21st century from scientists, that kind of remark. We condemn this in the strongest terms possible. But we assure you that this will not happen in Africa and will not happen elsewhere in any country, proper protocols will be followed and human beings will be treated as human beings because we are all human beings.,” he added.
On Friday (3rd April) Dr Mira apologised for his comments, saying in a statement released by his employer: “I want to present all my apologies to those who were hurt, shocked and felt insulted by the remarks that I clumsily expressed on LCI this week.”