The Senate Commission of Inquiry into Covid-19 heard from PrDidier Raoult only on Tuesday, after he refused to participate in a roundtable discussion with two other researchers as originally planned.
After the deputies on June 24, it was the senators’ turn to go to the hearing, on Tuesday, September 15, by the controversial professor Didier Raoult, head of the University Hospital Institute in Infectious Diseases of Marseille (IHU), known for its defense of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment against it. new coronavirus.
The microbiologist spoke alone before the commission of inquiry, after refusing the round table format with two other researchers. In fact, Didier Raoult was originally scheduled to discuss with epidemiologist Dominique Costagliola, research director at Inserm, and infectious disease specialist Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at Bichat Hospital in Paris.
“It is beyond my power” to “discuss calmly with people who insult me”, Didier Raoult justified himself at the beginning of his hearing, referring to a column entitled “Stop Scientific Fraud”, published on September 2 by Liberation, and which Dominique Costagliola is one of the signatories.
“Very solemnly and after swearing to tell the truth, I have never cheated in my life (…) I estimate that there are between 2 and 4% of errors in the newspapers I have made (…) I am just a poor man and I make mistakes like everyone else ” @Raoult_Didier
# CECovid19 pic.twitter.com/ZHD15HqZ9c
– Senate (@Senate) September 15, 2020
Didier Raoult true to his style
It is therefore without opposition that the microbiologist has been able to develop his arguments in his characteristic style, mixed with long technical answers and difficult accusations. The researcher again justified IHU’s policy with massive tests from the beginning of the epidemic and confirmed the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, but was still denied by a large number of studies.
He said he was “extremely surprised” by the magnitude of the side effects of this drug, a chloroquine derivative commonly used to treat autoimmune diseases.
A speech that resonated with several members of the committee, such as Senator Jura Sylvie Vermeillet (Democrats), which Covid-19 reached in mid-March and assured much moved that Didier Raoult had been “the first of us to give hope”.
However, others saw “a form of ruthlessness” in the researcher’s public expression at the beginning of the epidemic, which confirmed the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine when only very preliminary results were available.
Wearing a mask is “reasonable,” according to Raoult
Regarding the effectiveness of the generalization of wearing a mask, which has become mandatory in many French cities, Didier Raoult first humbly explained that it was very difficult to answer this question.
“Comparative studies are difficult to analyze because social behavior in different countries is not the same, especially in social relations.”
But “wearing a mask prevents people from kissing, you might think it’s reasonable,” he assured the senators.