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Prof Didier Raoult. Photo: Twitter; Dr Anthony Fauci. Photo: Wikipedia
Marseille

Covid-19 information ‘better on YouTube than in traditional media’

The world-renowned French virologist from Marseille, Prof Didier Raoult, believes that he is being identified as a "fake news" propagator because he discloses information buried by the mainstream media.

Published: May 17, 2020, 7:39 am

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    While cheap, un-patented hydroxychloroquine is promoted by Didier Raoult, a very expensive drug, Remdesivir, is being endorsed by US President Donald Trump’s scientific adviser, Anthony Fauci.

    Fauci has been claiming that Raoult’s treatment may have “no effect”. But Raoult returned the favour by pointing out that the small Remdesivir trial “surprisingly” changed outcomes suddenly: The death rate was initially the primary outcome measure but this was replaced with the time it took patients to recover. Even more astounding is that no rationale was provided for this sudden change.

    Pressure has been building on Fauci to allow a proper hydroxychloroquine trial, however. Raoult mocked Fauci’s blindness to an effective treatment in a tweet.

    Since the start of the Coronavirus epidemic, the health crisis has been coupled with a media crisis, Raoult said in an interview with the television channel i24NEWS. Frequently attacked for his nonconformist positions and his support for chloroquine, the now famous Marseilles doctor no longer believes in traditional media and prefers alternative media or social networks. “The traditional media are entering a head-on conflict with social networks,” he said.

    For Raoult, the information is also “better on YouTube than in traditional media”.

    “There is a revolution in the making,” he said, referring to the “endangerment” of traditional media which results in “a lot of violence”. Regularly targeted by the progressive media for his radical positions, the infectious disease specialist has been settling scores.

    “When [I am] on a podcast, I have three times the notoriety of the newspaper Le Monde, and I understand that this team does not like me,” he said, before continuing: “For myself, it costs me nothing, it does not bring me anything and I become an uncontrollable rival concerning the clarity and the reality of the information.”

    Often identified as a “fake news” propagator, Professor Raoult says he discloses information not relayed by the traditional media. “They do not relay more accurate information than on social networks,” he argued, noting a “turning point in the distribution of information”.

    Raoult’s success is no longer surprising given his great popularity in Marseille. Professor Raoult also authored a book and it has been a real sensation. Titled Epidemics: real dangers and false alarms published on March 27 by Michel Lafon, it already ranks number 17 on the list of bestsellers, according to the magazine GfK-Books Weekly edition.

    Even better, his recent book is in first place in the research category. Didier Raoult said he wrote this 90-page book, printed in 12 000 copies, in just one month. The director of the Marseille University Hospital Institute (IHU) reviews the history of the latest epidemics such as the H1N1 virus, Ebola and obviously the Coronavirus and reaffirms the effective use of chloroquine to treat the Coronavirus.

    On May 12, the infectious disease specialist also affirmed that “the epidemic is ending”. He told French weekly Valeurs Actuelles that he believed that “this episode is being resolved”.

    For him, “nowhere is there a second wave, it is a banal curve. Some sporadic cases will appear here or there possibly if there is someone super contagious, but all that does not translate into an epidemic dynamic any more”.

    Raoult, however, clarified that the drop in the number of fatalities would take longer “because unfortunately, there will be a few deaths still, those who are now in intensive care”. However, there are lessons to be learned from this epidemic, such as the need to “heal people”.

    He also recently questioned the role of confinement in containing the disease.

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