Rabat – An exchange on live television between two French doctors sparked outrage on social media after they suggested testing COVID-19 vaccines on Africans because “they do not have masks, treatment, nor intensive care.”
In the video, Jean-Paul Mira, the head of the intensive care department at the Cochin Hospital in Paris, proposes the idea of testing new coronavirus vaccines on African populations to Camille Locht, the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).
“If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care? A bit like we did in some studies on AIDS. We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves,” said Mira.
Locht agreed with the suggestion: “You are right. We are actually thinking about leading a study in Africa… We have already launched a call for bids and we are strongly considering the idea.”
The footage, taken from a talk show broadcasted on April 1 on French television channel LCI, went viral when Cameroonian football legend Samuel Eto’o shared the video on his social media.
“Assassins!” Eto’o commented on Twitter before sharing the video on his Facebook and Instagram pages.
More than 600,000 internet users watched the footage and thousands shared it, denouncing the colonialist mindset of the two French doctors.
“Africa is not your playground,” Eto’o wrote in a different publication.
Following the backlash, LCI removed the talk show recording from their website and social media pages without commenting on the incident.