According to Business Insider, on April 2, 2020 Two highly respected French doctors discussed on live television how a new COVID-19 vaccine under development should be first tested in Africa, "where there are no masks, no treatment, nor intensive care."

The two French doctors Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht, in a segment broadcast on the French TV channel LCI, raised the idea of testing new vaccines on impoverished African populations.

Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht

Mira who is head of the intensive-care department at the Cochin Hospital in Paris said, "If I can be provocative," Mira said, "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."

Locht who is the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, known as Inserm agreed with Mira, saying: "You are right. We are actually thinking of a parallel study in Africa to use with the same kind of approach with BCG placebos," referring to vaccination against tuberculosis that Inserm says has appeared to protect children against infections, particularly respiratory ones.

Inserm, ranked as the world's second-best research institution in the health sector, issued an official statement on Twitter saying the proposal had been "wrongly interpreted" and included the hashtag "#FakeNews."

The response on social media was swift. Many people including several of Africa's leading soccer players responded to the suggestion. Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba, who is from Ivory Coast, tweeted: "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."

Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, also tweeted, "Welcome to the West, where white people believe themselves to be so superior that racism and debility become commonplace," tweeted Ba, who is from Senegal. "Time to rise."

Rim-Sarah Alouane who is French researcher and Ph.D. candidate in comparative law focusing on religious freedom, civil liberties, constitutional law, and human rights translated the Interview and responded

A meme showing a statistic of deaths in Africa, America and Europe begin to circulate on social media.

Responding to the video, the Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera wrote;

“We will be looking out for you when you arrive. Please consult Pfizer for their experience with their TROVAN trial in Kano;1996 resolved 14 years later in 2010.If you can’t find them, google it. Whichever way, hide real well cos, we are on the lookout if NIGERIA is on your radar.

They will be well advised to research the Pfizer case and my credentials in this types of matters. It will be a colossal error of judgment to do a trial here that doesn’t comply with the full ethical & safety protocols including “informed” consent. There’s a precedent already.”

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