Paris Match returned to Marseille to meet Didier Raoult, the French scientist’s favorite, and questioned him about the attacks on him. Extracts from our great interview.

Paris Match. In March, in “La Provence”, you doubted that the Covid-19 would cause 10,000 deaths. Today, there are more than 200,000 deaths worldwide, including more than 20,000 in France … Do you recognize your error?
Didier Raoult. Yes, I said I doubted there would be more than 10,000 dead. I should have said, “I didn’t think there would be that many.” However, every year, 2 million people worldwide die from respiratory infections. In January 2017, in general indifference, the winter flu killed nearly 15,000 people. Let’s wait for the Covid-19 report on the average annual mortality of the French population [environ 600 000 décès] before describing the situation as serious. (…)

This treatment is stupid like cabbage, that’s why it irritates

I come back to your treatment. Studies show significant side effects. A US clinical trial suggests that it makes the situation worse by damaging other organs. Another, at the regional pharmacovigilance center [CRPV] from Nice, attributes 54 cases of heart trouble to him, including 7 sudden or unexplained deaths. Do these results make you doubt?
Absolutely not ! Hydroxychloroquine is the benchmark treatment for pneumonia [infections du système respiratoire]. One in eight Americans takes it once a year! An international study on the safety of hydroxychloroquine treatment, soon to be published, demonstrates the reliability of this molecule. As for azithromycin, it is the most prescribed drug in the world after aspirin … This treatment is stupid like cabbage, that’s why it irritates. We start from a fact: a disease without cure. The reflection then is banal. What already active medication could work? On the one hand, we have hydroxychloroquine, effective in vitro [en laboratoire]. On the other, an antibiotic, azithromycin, tested and studied. Our tests show their effectiveness on the virus when they are combined. (…)

“Finding a vaccine for a disease that isn’t immunizing … it’s an idiotic challenge”

Are you working on a vaccine?
Not at all ! Vaccines are not always the right solution. Finding a vaccine for a disease that isn’t immunizing … it’s even a silly challenge. Almost $ 30 billion has been spent on HIV, see the result! It is not a laboratory war, but an intelligence war. When we do not know how to manage an infectious disease, we get the hang of the vaccine! It’s already difficult to get the flu vaccine right, so against a new virus… Honestly the chance that a vaccine for an emerging disease will become a public health tool is close to zero. We can have surprises but I am skeptical. (…)

The scientific council: “We cannot wage a war with consensual people”

You sat on the scientific council created by the government. Why did you leave him suddenly?
We cannot wage a war with consensual people. The consensus is Pétain. Insupportable. You can’t decide that way. These people did not know what they were talking about! And everyone was pushing their balls forward. We had to please, represent the Pasteur Institute, Inserm, etc. There is nothing scientifically reliable about it. For my part, I did what needed to be done by creating the infectious pole, I am ready and organized. In 2003, I wrote a report on epidemic risks, drawn from my observations on the Chinese reaction to the SARS epidemic. Here, in twenty years, they have learned nothing. As a result, no one can test the coronavirus. Emmanuel Macron knows this very well.

Find the rest of this interview in Paris Match on sale this Thursday, April 30

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