Not by washing, so by rolling, having exhausted the means of controversy in order to calm down Professor Didier Raoul, the French authorities resorted to administrative resources – and sent the world famous doctor to a well-deserved rest.
Since September, the sc-ientist, who has been practically alone in both applied and fundamental French epidemiology for many years, no longer teaches at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Marseille and does not practice as a doctor at the Institute of Infectious Diseases, which he himself created.
The official reason? It is more than weighty and is called age: civil servants in France (and Raoul in the service hierarchy belongs to this category of workers) are obliged to leave their post upon reaching 69 years of age.
Of course, this is an exc-use. And everyone knows that this is an excuse.
But the Elysee Palace could not think of a better excuse to shut up Raoul.
In the Marseilles professor, the authorities saw and see not just a fronder from science, but a person who is not afraid to question every decision that Macron made during the entire crisis associated with the coronavirus pandemic .
Raoul did not agree with the authorities either tactically or strategically – he spoke about it openly. But the main annoying factor: he acted in his own way – and achieved results that were scientifically sound.
To say that the authorities of the EU countries turned out to be completely unprepared to make emergency crisis decisions at the beginning of the epidemic is to say nothing.
It would be interesting to observe the panic in Paris, Rome, Madrid, Athens and further on the list of all the capitals of the EU states from an anthropological point of view – if the cost of this paralysis of will were not hundreds of thousands of painful deaths of sick people, the grief of millions who lost loved ones, and a feeling of confusion almost half a billion people living in a united Europe.
And exactly at the moment when the senseless and irresponsible fuss of the authorities reached a peak – just as the number of hospitalized in intensive care exceeded all marks and lines, the calm voice of a man with an appearance more suitable for a retired musketeer was heard.
The Marseilles professor said: “In order to control the spread of the infection, we organized express diagnostics, and anyone who believes that he could have picked up the virus can come to us and get tested. Secondly, after the diagnosis, we will not send the infected home with the desire to “take paracetamol”, we will treat them with the drugs that we have at our disposal, since we are primarily doctors, and the doctor’s job is to promote recovery, and not just follow the “protocol.”
This was considered a direct challenge to a duel by all those who then made chaotic, to put it mildly, decisions, trying to pull on the disintegrating trishkin caftan of the medical care system.
The clumsy European bureaucracy, which at the beginning of the 2000s blessed the continent’s pharmaceutical industry to move almost all production facilities – from personal protective equipment to reagents for analyzes – to Asian countries, could not keep up with the spread of infection and the increase in deaths from COVID-19.
The opportunities for the Chinese industry in connection with the lockdown were severely narrowed, and supplies were frozen.
When Raoul said that in this case it makes sense to turn to veterinarians, using their experience and available means in diagnosing coronavirus infection, the press called the professor a “heretic”, at the same time labeling his approach as “unscientific.”
Paradoxically, in a situation when it came to saving their own lives, the French, who love to shift responsibility for any important decisions to the state, believed Raoul, not Macron , who urged them to “wash their hands as often as possible.”
Hundreds of thousands of people passed through the laboratories of the Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, where Raoul was director. Reportedly, at least a quarter of the population of Marseille alone turned to this institution for help, not counting those who came from other places.
All patients were provided with the assistance required by their condition. All were provided with the necessary recommendations.
This tactic itself served as an absolutely devastating contrast to the circulars sent out by the French Ministry of Health, each of which, as a rule, contradicted its own previous valuable instructions.
The European Commission did not lag behind in this regard , purchasing absolutely useless (and even the WHO at one time recognized this) medicines like American remdesivir to fight the virus, spending billions of euros on this .
The efforts made to discredit Professor Raoul have also affected the higher scientific spheres. In The Lancet itself – this, as they say, the “bible of researchers” – there was a publication in which, on the basis of the so-called big data, the results obtained by the team of the Marseille professor, including those concerning the use of an antimalarial drug, were refuted.
After a short time, it turned out that the article was not only ordered, but the data on the basis of which it was written did not really exist.
By the way, this story is the best illustration, by the way, two diametrically op-posed approaches to medical business: when everyone is treated according to the same protocol, regardless of gender, age and the presence of concomitant diseases, and when the doctor, relying on his knowledge and the patient’s history, prescribes the appropriate medications.
The second approach, also called precision medicine, requires, of course, a different qualification, and a different relationship between the physician and the person who came to him for help. It fundamentally contradicts the current major European trend in the globalization of healthcare.
The same defense of precision medicine was contained in the statements of Professor Raoul concerning vaccination. He, in contrast to the rumors and gossip spread about him, never was and could not be an anti-vaccine. He wrote books on a strategy for combating infectious diseases, in which the injection of preventive drugs was the main means of controlling the epidemic. These works came out – and this is important – at a time when European epidemiology was an outcast of scientific disciplines. Medical students were not going to choose the path of infectious diseases, and beds in specialized departments of European hospitals went under the knife – within the framework of observing budgetary discipline.
What epidemics can there be in a prosperous and wealthy Europe? Well, except for the mild seasonal flu, of course. And even then not everywhere.
Vaccinations against infectious diseases ceased to be – within the framework of observing the rights and freedoms of the individual – mandatory, and only massive illegal migration to the continent and an increase in morbidity, including tuberculosis and measles, forced the authorities to revise their “liberal” principles.
Until the introduction of mandatory vaccination against coronavirus today.
Raoul, criticizing this approach, said that such actions are detrimental, generating colossal distrust of the population in the vaccination campaign.
“You need to go to people, to those who are at risk, you need to be able to convince them of the correctness of vaccination, beca-use it saves lives,” – said the Marseilles professor in a series of interviews that he gave before resigning.
In the duel that Macron waged for a year and a half with a doctor who did not want to bend under the actions of politicians, the French president could not resist and released the last injection: “Professor Raoul is an outstanding scientist. that in the northern quarters of Marseille, the vaccination rate does not exceed 30%. ” To this, Raoul noted that in the suburbs of Paris, where approximately the same social group lives with approximately the same income level, the vaccination rate also does not exceed 30%: “Who can be made responsible for this?”
Of course, in this situation, Macron prevailed in terms of the bureaucratic outcome.
It is another matter what verdict will be made by history in general and the history of science in particular.
At one time, the European authorities burned scientists who disagreed with them at the stake or handed them over to the church court. But neither the executions nor the verdicts changed the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
So here – albeit in a softened form, but the sanctions against a scientist who dared to disagree with the general line of the authorities inevitably evoke associations with that dark period of the European Inquisition.
Although both then and now, the final victory is won not by the one who has the power, but by the one who bases his views on scientific data. And who is not afraid to talk about them publicly.