Ghebreyesus said these statements are contrary to the cooperation strategies the world needs to face COVID-19.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization leader, condemned the suggestion of testing an anti-COVID vaccine on the African population. These statements, qualified as racism, were made by two doctors who were live on French television.
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The main argument for the hypothetical vaccine testing is Africa does not have the defense and preventive resources as other regions. Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht, who are the Intense Care Chief and Director of the National Medical Research Institute in France.
In a clear rejection of the polemic declarations, Ghebreyesus expressed: "When we needed solidarity this kind of racist remark will not help. It goes against solidarity. Africa cannot and will not be the testing ground for any vaccine. The hangoverfrom such colonial mentality has to stop.”
The international organization's leader also said he is not condoning such racist and colonial comments. Recently, Ghebreyesus received racist attacks by some people over his work at WHO. On his declarations, he said he is not addressing the offenses directed to his persona because he is proud of his ethnic and regional ascendance.
The #Coronavirus crisis requires a global answer. Support to partners, in particular Africa, is not only about solidarity +helping most vulnerable but also in our interest. We cannot solve the pandemic only at home, we need to solve it everywhere. If we don’t, it will bounce back pic.twitter.com/oalzAtpCLZ— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) April 3, 2020
Ghebreyesus said these statements are contrary to the cooperation strategies the world needs to face COVID-19.: “these kinds of racist remarks actually will not help. It goes against solidarity”, he said. Besides, he announced that WHO "will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world using exactly the same rule."
For his part, the European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said on Wednesday: "The idea that Africa can be a testing ground or a laboratory for testing a vaccine for the rest of the world is unacceptable."
After harsh criticism on social media and demand requests, both doctors apologized for the disrespectful, insensitive and discriminatory statements.