These are exchanges that give a better overview of the management of the Covid-19 crisis, during the first months. Several American media, such as the Washington Post or BuzzFeed News, this week published numerous emails sent by the American immunologist and White House adviser Anthony Fauci.
This correspondence was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the access to information law allowing access to administrative documents. And if Dr. Fauci is on the front of the stage in recent days, after the American media obtained a document of more than 3,000 pages, we also find the name of Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the Scientific Council. This is an email exchanged between the two men at the start of the health crisis in France.
This email, sent by Jean-François Delfraissy, is dated March 25, 2020, one week after the start of the first confinement in France. The president of the Scientific Council explains the organization of his body, its objectives, and the need for confinement on the territory to slow down the circulation of the new coronavirus.
Jean-François Delfraissy underlines the difficulties weakening the management of the health crisis in France. He refers to the “limited number of tests” available, which prevents the adoption of South Korea’s strategy, often cited as an example, massively testing the population.
And before the situation improves, the president of the Scientific Council declares that the country will go through “a difficult phase in the coming weeks” because of the lack of intensive care beds “in certain regions of France.”
He then spoke of the “media buzz” of the moment: the announcement of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine to cure Covid-19, made by Professor Didier Raoult. Jean-François Delfraissy declares that “his data are not particularly convincing”.
“We can see a slightly positive signal but it needs to be confirmed by a well-conducted randomized trial,” he writes. He explains that studies are underway and that the first results are expected in the coming days. Then comes this line: “I am under tremendous political pressure to authorize hydroxychloroquine and give it to everyone, but I am resisting for the moment …”
According to a source close to Jean-François Delfraissy at BFMTV, “we must remember the context of the time, with pressure from all sides to liberalize the use of hydroxychloroquine: intellectuals on the right and on the left, politicians who declared to have been saved or who reported that friends had been treated with this treatment … “.
Thus, with his sentence, “he declares that he has resisted all kinds of pressure, including political”, according to this source. A few days later, in an opinion sent on April 2, the Scientific Council reaffirmed its position by displaying its caution on the treatment touted by Didier Raoult.