The Paris network of hospitals released a statement of apology from Jean-Paul Mira, employee and head of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Cochin hospital after her unfortunate comment triggered a global outrage, especially from Africa.
The statement which is believed to be coming from Mira reads: “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.”
In a TV conversation with Camille Locht, research director for Inserm on the trial of a “re-purposed” drug which could possibly deal with COVID-19, Mira asked the following question: “If I could be provocative, should we not do this study in Africa where there are no masks, treatment or intensive care, a little bit like it’s done, by the way, for certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes? We try things because we know that they are highly exposed and they don’t protect themselves,”
In response, Camille added that: “You are right. And by the way, we are in the process of thinking in parallel about a study in Africa. That doesn’t prevent us, in parallel, from also thinking about a study in Europe and in Australia.”
The conversation which didn’t go down well with African especially attracted anger from opinion leaders and the general black populace. First reaction came from the Ivorian and former Chelsea striker Didier Yves Drogba who referred to the suggestion as “Totally inconceivable” and also cautioned that Africans must not be used as human guinea pigs because the content is not a lab.
This was followed by the reaction of the Cameroonian star and former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o. He didn’t hold any word back. Expressing his anger on social media, the former Barcelona maestro wrote that “Y’all nothing but Sh*t”.
Additionally, a group of Moroccan lawyers equally threatened to sue Mira for racial defamation.
All these coupled with the general outrage called for an apology but many questions are still left unanswered. Was there any element of truth in that conversation that sparked the outrage? Did Mira spill out the hidden secrete and revamped a long-held belief?