The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
In a video that went viral, Dr. Stella Immanuel stood on the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington claiming the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine can treat Covid-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has halted its trials, saying there’s no evidence that the drug reduces coronavirus death rates. Now the Cameroon-born doctor’s reputation is being called into question as critics uncover potentially incriminating statements from her past. Five years ago, Immanuel alleged that alien DNA was used in medical treatments. She’s also been known to blame medical conditions on witches and demons. In this column, Simon Lincoln Reader does not intend to popularise the use of HCQ, but rather to address the tactics of its critics in trying to shut down discussion. Curiously, the University of Calabar in Nigeria (where Dr. Immanuel graduated with a medical degree) rates as the 33rd best university in Nigeria and the 7,834th best in the world. – Claire Badenhorst
What the racist response to a black American doctor tells us about our present
By Simon Lincoln Reader*
The most recent indictment of how we now live reveals itself in Washington when a group calling themselves ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ gather with the intention of dispelling myths associated with Covid-19. 48 hours later no trace of this summit exists, as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook – all in the manner of Harvey Keitel’s character in Pulp Fiction – have swiftly fixed and yanked the Internet for any mention of the drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Under no circumstances must any consideration be afforded to commentary outside the WHO’s infinite wisdom and documented clarity.
But where Winston Wolfe is likeable (and talented), those doing the yanking and fixing here are not. Neither doctors nor scientists, today’s censors at Big Tech are in all likelihood young gender or grievance studies graduates (or enthusiasts), cursed by father issues and an elemental hatred of the President of the United States.
One of the doctors present at the summit was called Dr. Stella Immanuel. Dr. Immanuel made an impassioned plea for open discussion on the subject of HCQ, claiming that all 300 plus patients whom she had treated with a drug combination (involving HCQ) had prevented or interrupted the fatal cytokine storm and ultimately survived.
The following morning, the sniping and frequently wrong Daily Beast led the charge of discrediting Dr. Immanuel, hinting that a medical degree obtained in Nigeria was suspicious – before going on to associate past remarks she had made with witchcraft. Today’s conditions of racism exclude critics of Donald Trump; it’s perfectly acceptable for a young white man to accuse an accomplished black woman of voodoo in the same way it is for young white Antifa members to assault black police officers and insult their families.
Were Dr. Immanuel to accuse Molly Jong-Fast, the Daily Beast’s editor, of ‘inheriting sluttiness’ (an equivalent insult – on the basis that the latter’s mother, the mediocre poet Erica Jong is notoriously loose), the doctor would have been crushed by an instant wave of intersectionalism, cheer-led by CNN and The New York Times.
We have reason to be suspicious – reason gifted to us by the reckless speed a loser editor rushed into documenting falsehoods.
Earlier this year the once prestigious Lancet medical journal descended into farce when its bug-eyed Corbynista editor Richard Horton published junk science smack bang in the middle of a pandemic. Like Jong-Fast, Horton is an activist first and activists, particularly those masquerading as reporters, make daft errors: in his pursuit of the scalp of Donald Trump, Horton relied on dubious research trashing HCQ that not even the Guardian could stomach – resulting in an almost unprecedented retraction.
But Horton continues in his role today. He has not been fired or censored. Shamelessly, he still makes incendiary remarks about HCQ and about the politicians who do not share his radical fantasies.
South Africa is not innocent here. As early as mid-March the oversupply of failed ANC politicians and sympathisers resident at South Africa’s least reliable information source, Beijing24, (the few that is not involved in the cancelation campaign against Helen Zille) were condemning HCQ. Its famously imaginative editor described Donald Trump as ‘bleacher-in-chief’ (this sort of thing counts for humour when you’re on the CCP’s dime). Nickolaus Bauer, South Africa’s most amateur peddler of fake news, has framed the incident by smearing the singer Madonna (who declared in the case of Dr. Immanuel: ‘we are not being told the truth’ as a ‘Karen’; David Smith, formerly the Guardian’s automatic monkey in Zoo Lake, now in Washington, has been despatched to the case of Dr. Immanuel with the brief of offence or controversy archaeology: find peanuts in poo David, and let them all eat nuts.
Portraying Dr. Immanuel as an edgelord sangoma proves that not even the confidential doctor-patient relationship (where the stakes are literally life itself) is sacred from those seeking leverage over the US President – who has been shoehorned into a discussion that wouldn’t ordinarily (and shouldn’t) require him. It also busts the delusion of our present; we are repeatedly told by progressive organisations and their media supporters that we exist in a deciding moment that will yield equality and rights to the deserved. Not true. We are simply in a revised and fully updated chapter at the end of George Orwell’s 1984, watching as cowards jostle to enforce the approved narrative.
[For those interested, my wonderful chemist, originally from Jaipur, proudly showed me a cheap blister pack of HCQ the other day. They do look rather lovely, resplendent in their red capsules].
- Simon Lincoln Reader works and lives in London. You can follow him on Medium.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.