Social media has been outraged over two French doctors who discussed in a TV show the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine test in Africa. The comments made by Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht on the French television channel, LCI, which has since gone viral, prompted the Twitter trend #AfricansAreNotLabRats and #Africaisnotatestinglab.
Ivorian professional football player Didier Drogba was one of the first to respond on twitter:”Africa isn’t a testing lab,” he wrote. “I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist words.”
Since, the anti-racism group SOS Racisme called on France’s media regulator, the Conseil Supérieur de L’Audiovisuel (CSA), to formally condemn the remarks.
CSA issued a statement saying, “No, Africans aren’t guinea pigs”, adding that comparison with AIDS and prostitutes was “problematic” and “unwelcome”.
Similarly, Olivier Faure, of France’s Socialist Party, wrote on Twitter, “It’s not provocation, it’s just racism. Africa is not the laboratory of Europe. Africans are not rats!”
Slamming the European doctors, many are asking why Europe is not proposing to test the vaccine on their own population. Currently, COVID19 case total and death rate in Europe is far higher than that of Africa.
“Italy, France and now USA and UK have more than 1k deaths per day yet they are here yapping about testing vaccines on Africans. This bunch of suckers and racists should back off Africa. we are Africans and Africa is our business,” @GH_Information wrote on Twitter, on 4 April, 2020.
And even though the DRC government says it is “prepared to take part in testing of any future vaccine against the coronavirus”, Africans, on and off Twitter, are responding with strong messages, opposing any proposal of coronavirus test vaccine in Africa. The overarching message: “Africans are not guinea pigs. Africa is not the laboratory of the West”
Spain has recorded 11744 Deaths
Italy has recorded 14681 Deaths
China recorded 3314 Deaths
USA recorded 7146 Deaths
France has recorded 6490 Deaths
The whole Africa has not recorded up to 50 Deaths. Yet they are bringing Vaccine to Africa for testing. #AfricansAreNotLabRats
— Duke of Ibadan 🀄️ (@AsiwajuLerry) April 4, 2020
We reject the suggestion the Bill Gates foundation test this new Corona vaccine in Africa. Italy, US and other European counties are struggling. Let them start there. #AfricansAreNotGuineaPigs
— dr jowie.mbengo (@padapido) March 31, 2020
Bill Gates please test your vaccine in your country and most affected European countries in Europe i.e Italy, France etc. The world has 1.1 million cases & Africa has less than 8 thousand. If our leaders want it tested in Africa, test it on them
— Melissa Nelly (@MelissaNe10) April 4, 2020
It’s funny how racism still exists after how many centuries🤷♀️ #AfricansAreNotLabRats we are not lab rats in Africa🤦♀️ smh.
— Mercy Eke (@real_mercyeke) April 4, 2020
It is high time Africans decide what will and won’t be tolerated here. But Bill Gates is a businessman and Trevor Noah is an entertainer. They were not elected to serve our interests.
If vaccines are tested in Africa, it’s because our leaders allowed it.
— Sharné Zoë (@Zoe_SZi) April 5, 2020