Several days ago, I received a Whatsapp clip of the picture of a huge cargo plane that had reportedly just landed on the tarmac of Ghana’s main aviation gateway, namely, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA); the plane appeared to be fully loaded with what was described by a commentator as medical supplies meant to aid the Government of Ghana in its dogged determination to fight off the globally raging pandemic of the China-originated Coronavirus. Some media networks call this most deadly virus the Wuhan Virus. Well, and then just this morning, I woke up to the publication of a news story that was captioned “COVID-19: French Physician Warns Africa Against Vaccine from Bill Gates” (News Desk – Modernghana.com 4/1/20).
In the latter news story, a French physician by the name of Dr. Didier Raoult was reported to be warning African leaders against allowing themselves and their citizens to be lured into being administered a newly developed vaccine, presumably developed right here in the United States of America, with the heavy financial support of the globally renowned Microsoft Corporation mogul Mr. William “Bill” Gates, Jr. Now, this is a timely cautionary note or advisory that ought to be taken with all the seriousness that it rightly deserves, if also because the drug or vaccine in question may very well be in its early experimental stages, which means that other than the likelihood of the alleged vaccine’s having been tested on laboratory animals, it has not been clinically and credibly proven to be effective in the treatment of humans afflicted with the Coronavirus.
Even more shrewdly and poignantly, Dr. Raoult hints at the globally inescapable fact of charity needing to necessarily begin at home. Which, of course, simply means that were the scientists who developed the as yet commercially unidentified and uncertified vaccine in question cocksure about its clinical efficacy, they would first be testing the same on citizens in such European countries as Italy, Spain and France, where the Coronavirus Pandemic appears to have skyrocketed in its deadly and existentially devastating reach. Now, this is a very wise advisory that is worth paying heed to, in view of what we already know about experiments conducted on African humans by European physicians and scientists going as relatively far back as the 1920s and the 1930s in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), most notably, the globally infamous Syphilis Experiment, in which continental African participants were given placebos, while nearly every one of the European-born or descended participants involved in the same experiment was administered the Real McCoy, as it were.
According to my good friend and colleague, Prof. Richard Goodman, who first let me in on the infamous DRC Experiment, that was the beginnings of the development of what later came to be widely and globally known as the Aids and the Ebola virus pandemics. My dear friend and colleague must know what he is talking about because he is a crackerjack specialist of African History, in particular the history of North-West Africa or the Maghreb. I don’t as yet know Richard’s general take or perspective on the so-called “Conspiracy Theories,” but it is quite convincingly evident that, by and large, except for a handful of notable exceptions, high-end European scholars and scientists, going as far back as the so-called Age of Reason or the Enlightenment Era, that is the 18th Century, have not been very genial and helpful on the critical question of Black-African humanity.
It may not be either unique or peculiar to European people, but racism as a veritable instrument of African oppression, exploitation, political subjugation and marginalization continues to be very much at the forefront of interracial interface or relationships between Africans and the European white man, irrespective of geographical or geopolitical orientation and/or location. In his cautionary advisory, Dr. Raoult is reported to have urged continental Africans to take regular doses of the common antimalarial medicine called Chloroquine as an interim remedy against the COVID-19 Pandemic. I learned about the Chloroquine remedy approximately one month ago, and I quickly retailed the same to several of my colleagues, friends and associates, including an American-born Chinese woman who teaches Criminal Justice at the institution where I teach.
That was shortly after a Ghanaian resident in Paris, France, shipped out a Whatsapp audio recording informing anybody he could reach around the world, in particular Ghanaian-descended people and English-speaking people around the world, I presume, about some French and Chinese doctors in China having arrived at the same Chloroquine conclusion, as it were. So, in a quite elating sense, I feel somewhat vindicated, although, as usual, my 14-year-old ninth-grader son thinks that I need to shut up until he has taught me enough about the nature and the functional characteristics of the Coronavirus. My son is convinced that I have exposed myself too much to Junk Science for my own good. He is the topmost scientist in his class, he proudly tells me. What else do I have to say?
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr.,
PhD English Department,
SUNY-Nassau Garden City,