The Marseille professor explained himself in an interview with Figaro Magazine on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, conflicts of interest in the scientific community, and the decision taken by Emmanuel Macron not to reconfine.
The infectious disease specialist Didier Raoult spoke at length to Figaro Magazine, ahead of the publication on February 11, 2021, of his Covid-19 War Notebooks (ed. Michel Lafon). In an interview published on February 5, the director of the IHU Méditerranée in Marseille returned to the many debates he has provoked since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asked about any regrets in his past remarks, the scientist said he had none. While he had announced in the spring of 2020 that the epidemic was “in the process of disappearing”, he affirms to the weekly that he “maintains” this assertion. “The August virus is not that of spring: it is a new variant, which comes to us from Africa. Some people think I am playing on words. When we have been working on viral epidemics for forty years, we try to be precise, ”he explains.
Regarding hydroxychloroquine and its effectiveness against Covid-19, the Marseille professor explains that he “had to deal with bogus studies which confirmed the toxicity of this drug which has been administered to millions of patients for thirty years”. Didier Raoult refers in particular to the C19study.com site, which “has carried out a meta-analysis of the 200 publications on hydroxychloroquine. It turns out that this is a drug that works quite well against the coronavirus. ” “I never said it was going to cure 100% of patients.
On the other hand, I maintain that this molecule improves the condition of precocious or advanced patients, but not in the final phase, ”he adds. “The president was right” The infectious disease specialist also points to conflicts of interest in the research community: “I’ve been refusing to work with the pharmaceutical industry for twenty years. Faced with it, the checks and balances are insignificant.
It is not normal for doctors to comment on drugs about which they have a conflict of interest. It’s astonishing because, in other sectors of society, this kind of attitude is no longer tolerated. ”
Finally, Didier Raoult welcomes Emmanuel Macron’s decision not to confine France (for now) in the face of the threat of variants. “The president was right. I have said it very often for a year: corrective social measures do not work because they create too much collateral damage. The risk-benefit is not satisfactory “, argues the scientist, according to which” the only thing that works in the control of the epidemic, it is the precocity of setting up of the tests and the isolation of the patients “.