Christian Perronne, the « case » that explains the system

Doctor of Medicine, Professor, former Head of the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Raymond Poincaré University Hospital in Garches, co-founder and former President of the French Federation of Infectious Diseases, qualified in Bacteriology and Virology by the Pasteur Institute, former Deputy Director of the National Reference Center for Tuberculosis and Mycobacteria at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, President of the College of Teachers of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (CMIT), President of the French Medicines Agency (ANSM, (ANSM, ex-AFSSAPS) of working groups elaborating evidence-based recommendations for antibiotic treatment of respiratory infections, Superior Council of Public Hygiene of France or of the National Advisory Group on Vaccination or of the National Council of Universities (CNU), subsection Infectious and Tropical Diseases, vice-president at the World Health Organization, of the ETAGE group (European Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation), expert group advising on vaccination policy in the WHO EURO region (…), author or co-author of more than 300 international scientific publications, Christian Perronne was, before the Covid crisis, a man recognized and appreciated for his integrity, his intelligence and his deep knowledge which characterize him in his field of competence.

Interview with Professor Christian Perronne at the end of his hearing before the Ordre des Médecins, Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Continuity or rupture?

It is interesting, or surprising, to see how the unanimously recognized past expertise of Pr. Perronne, can now be interpreted differently in the light of his present positions. His detractors, for whom it is impossible to deny his previous references(1), will say that since 2020 he has taken the wrong path, that  » his splendor has tarnished in recent years « ,  » that in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Christian Perronne is multiplying the slips « (2). It is therefore for the political-media world  » the story of a fall « , a  » shipwreck(3)  » the passage of a respectable and respected man who became  » one of the most prominent white coats in the conspiracy sphere(4) « . This strange metamorphosis, to say the least, will never be explained by those who love the processes of exclusionary categorization. Has Perronne,  » once respected(5) « , gone mad, bitten by one of the insects that transmit some of the diseases he studies, so that he mutates into  » Antivax, idol of the extreme right(6) », thus beginning a  » descent into the irrational(7) »?

On the other hand, those who support him see in his positions regarding Covid-19 and the political and sanitary measures imposed by the governments, the sign of a continuity, where deontology prevails over the submission to a power gone mad, showing the honesty of the character. Under the sign of logic, these last ones seem however more credible, the intellectual fidelity explaining the current positions of Pr. Perronne, rather than an incomprehensible rupture, where ideological continuity would characterize the media-political environment, endowed with this formidable persistence to always do the same thing camouflaged under their indefectible tendency to tell us that they constantly revolutionize their practices. The first, Perronne, was harmless as long as he did not oppose the official discourse, or at least was not singled out for the vindictiveness of the media spotlight(8)The first one, which was the same, but took a step too far in the counter-narrative, provoking the reaction of the second ones, watchdogs of the status quo and of the maintenance of the cerebral order. The explanation is therefore simple: Christian Perronne and the political and media sphere have continued, each on their own, to do what they have always done. The first one, becoming embarrassing, was the only possibility left to the soldiers of power to explain that the one who had been respected for years had tilted in an incomprehensible way in the camp of the « evil ». If he had become a pariah, it was not because the political and media sphere had made him so, no! This was solely his responsibility; nothing had changed in the heads of those who judged and pronounced the ukases.

The « case » Perronne can thus be interpreted in two different ways, giving to focus on the person or the system in which it takes:

- A man who has become infrequent as soon as he crossed the red line, called by the media all sorts of names to disqualify him and, by extension, his thoughts.

- A man who is the object of a virtual transformation orchestrated by the media. This makes Perronne not a subject to be studied, but, through him and his lynching, a grid for reading the media-political system in which he is caught.

Interview with Me Thomas Benages, counsel for Professor Perronne, after his hearing before the Ordre des Médecins in Paris.

The contagion of the stigmatized

It is important, before entering the heart of the matter, to proceed to an analysis, succinct here, of the methods used to discredit the subject, which the readers of this article will have to get rid of before being able to read us(9). One of these, stigma, is epidemic. Initially, therefore, anyone who, according to the interpretation of the masters of representation, suddenly changes his perception of reality, Professor Perronne in this case, would automatically fall into the camp of the pariahs: « conspiracy theorists », « reassuranceists », « conspiracy theorists », « right-wing extremists », « anti-vax »?

This identity repertoire is indispensable to the power in place in order to reduce ideas to an individual who has become « unattractive », and these ideas also become so by reflexive association. This strategy of manipulation and intellectual blocking, and therefore of the ability to open up to debate, is not new. Already in the post-war years, left-wing intellectuals were saying that it was better to be wrong with Sartre than right with Aaron. This form of prostitution of thought aims more at the attachment to a cause and a group than at the search for truth. This contagion of the « unhealthy » individual to the words he or she says also spreads to all those who would not participate in this stigmatization and think like the new pariah. Thus, those who wanted to show their support to Christian Perronne on September 13, found themselves on the same ban as the heretic Perronne, treated as  » conspiracy theorists, antivax, hydroxychloroquine worshippers « . No nuance, but an objective, conscious or not according to the level of the journalist’s forfeit: not to go beyond the domain of invective, which would allow to enter the domain of contradictory thought, thus of debate. This is simply forbidden by the authorities(10).

Interview with Mr. Carlo Brusa, who came to support Professor Perronne during his hearing before the Order of Physicians, in Paris. 

At the heart of the Ordre des médecins d’Île-de-France

On September 13, hundreds of sympathizers are waiting for Professor Perronne at the exit of the Volontaires metro station in Paris. The latter must appear before the disciplinary chamber of the Île-de-France Regional Council of the Order of Physicians. Inside, the public is limited to 12 people. At the Professor’s request, I attended the hearing, in a room where his wife, Me Brusa, Pierre Barnerias (director of Hold-up, Hold-on, Hold-out), Francis Lalanne, Christian Perronne’s lawyer, Me Benages, as well as other relatives were present.

There are four items on this morning’s agenda, three of which concern the Professor. The first case concerns a complaint by the Conseil national de l’ordre des médecins (CNOM) against Dr Nicole Delépine, an oncologist. She is accused of having intervened in various media, including France SoirAnd to have said in substance that many old people die alone, that what has been happening for two years is a real coup d’état, comparable to Nazi eugenics, perpetrated with Rivotril, that history is repeating itself, in a society where we are in the reign of money and Big Pharma. He is still accused of having said on Sud Radio that it was necessary to distinguish the medicine of the Excel tables from that of Hippocrates; that the refusal to treat the elderly is equivalent to an act of euthanasia, whereas covid was a not so terrible disease; that free and informed consent was not respected The CNOM also accuses him of having « defended » Hydroxychloroquine (HDC).

The CNOM emphasizes that freedom of expression is not an absolute right when the statements are not supported by scientific data. Caution must be exercised, the Council added. For the CNOM’s lawyer, who will speak for only a few minutes, Nicole Delépine’s comments could harm the honor of the profession.

Still the same grievances

At 9:40 a.m., the first case concerning Professor Perronne begins. As with the first, this is a complaint instituted by the CNOM — we will see that the indictment is very similar. Several doctors from Garches, in the hospital where Perronne worked, complained to the Hauts de Seine Council about the remarks he made on France Soir, Sud Radio and in various videos, which constitute  » several serious breaches of the code of ethics « . They do not accept that Perronne could have said that all the institutions were manipulated by the pharmaceutical industry, that corruption is widespread, having led to the rejection of the HDC, that he implicated doctors and considered the managers of the crisis as criminals; that the vaccine was not necessary for the general population… The lawyer of the CNOM points out that the statement attributed to Christian Perronne « the vaccine kills » is contrary to any principle of dignity of medicine, which must remain at the service of the person. He added that his status as a university professor should make him cautious and that he should assist the health authorities.

The primary failures that plaintiffs’ counsel identifies are of three types:

1. Lack of confraternity: which could lead to the endangerment of confreres, feeding a  » very violent movement « .

2. Lack of support for the competent authorities: Perronne  » refused and denigrated measures, advocated Hydroxychloroquine, criticized vaccines « . He should have done this in a calm manner, based on scientific data.

3. Speaking out: he is accused of having said publicly that the vaccine causes deaths,  » against all statistical logic « ,  » discouraged vaccination, promoted HDC, illusory and dangerous treatment » .  » Professor Perronne is no longer guided by respect for patients, but by personal vindictiveness .

Christian Perronne’s lawyer answers on points he considers essential:

1. If the materiality of the facts is not contested in a general way, the defense lawyer rejects the attribution to Christian Perronne of the sentence « The vaccine kills », which he never uttered, CNews having diverted his original words. It goes without saying that at this stage, the lawyer is trying to protect his client from the sanctions that would be imposed on him for making such statements, as the question of truth has no place here — It is interesting to note that it is therefore forbidden to say that the vaccine kills, even if the testimonies are pouring in(11).

2. Concerning the complaint of certain caregivers of the hospital of Nantes, the defense points out that Christian Perronne never named his colleagues, and that it is a right to criticize the medical practices of some as long as they remain anonymous.

3. On the issue of public speaking: Christian Perronne denounced the interference of the political hierarchy (Agnès Buzyn, Olivier Véran) in the freedom to apply the decree of 25–26 March on Hydroxychloroquine. If we follow the logic of the indictment to the end, » says Mr. Benages, « it would be forbidden for a doctor to criticize a minister. However, it is his expertise that allows him to speak.  » Who else would have done it? « This is a debate of general interest. The scientific controversy still exists. The state does not have the legitimacy of public speech, » he also adds(12).

As with Nicole Délepine, the CNOM criticizes Christian Perronne for criticizing the pharmaceutical industry. Apart from the absurdity of these remarks, Perronne’s legitimacy to talk about conflicts of interest is obvious, having founded ethics committees more than 20 years ago to fight against the risks associated with conflicts of interest.

The thirst for ego

The last two cases involved a complaint by Nathan Peiffer-Smadja against Professor Christian Perronne, who also filed a complaint against Nathan Peiffer-Smadja.

It should be noted that the Council of the Order of 92 (department of Hauts-de-Seine) was associated with the complaint of the former, whereas it was not associated with the complaint of Perronne, which indicates an obvious partiality on the part of the Council, underlined by the lawyer. The accusation of non-confraternity against Christian Perronne was brought again, the complainant also evoking  » anti-scientific words » ,  » full of untruths » ,  » words that harm quality scientific information « . Nathan Peiffer-Smadja, who is accused of having usurped the title of infectiologist when he was not yet a graduate, defends the governmental line: PCR tests/masks/vaccines… Thus, his words coincide perfectly with the media’s word, as bearer of this bien-pensance and emanating from the camp of good. Full of this certainty, carried by the context, he does not hesitate to discredit Professor Perronne in 14 tweets that are the subject of the complaint against him. In particular, he met with Martin Hirsch, director of the AP-HP, to denounce Christian Perronne, which led to his dismissal as head of department.

Nathan Peiffer-Smadja represents this type of person who attacks those who oppose power, in the hope of the « media moment ». In a struggle of ego, they dream of being on the stage, in front of the stage, filled with the pride that is the source of the voluntary servitude of these media icons who know that to shine they must say what is expected of them and nothing else.

But what remains incredible in this convocation of Christian Perronne before the Council of the Order of Physicians, is that a debate of general interest took place which should have been held publicly a long time ago. With this paradox: the accusations against « disobedient » doctors can almost systematically be turned against the accused, based on rules, purely theoretical, that they do not respect. Thus, those who ask to speak with caution and verify the data have never done so themselves; those who speak of lack of confraternity are the first to stigmatize colleagues who do not follow the official path; those who speak of respect for the patient have flouted the Hippocratic oath; those who reproach the lack of support to the competent authorities have forgotten the freedom of the patient, the free and informed consent and the duty to disobey an unjust order; those who contest the fact of having spoken publicly have forgotten the inalienable freedom of expression.

Finally, in these dark times, many are walking on their heads. Fortunately, there are still men like Christian Perronne to keep us going.

Notes et références
  1. Même si certains essaient de chercher dans son passé les signes d’un dévoiement (cf. ses positions sur le 11 septembre 2011 ou sur Lyme). Le même procédé a lieu avec le débunkage a posteriori du documentaire Malaria Business par les trolls et autres Fact Checkers à la solde du pouvoir, dont le réalisateur Bernard Crutzen est victime.

  4. Idem.
  6. Idem.
  7. Idem.
  8. Ses positions divergentes sur la maladie de Lyme n’avaient pas suffi à provoquer l’ire des journalistes, son lynchage médiatique n’étant pas nécessaire à l’époque.

  9. Ceux pour qui cela demeure impossible ne sont sans doute même pas arrivés à cette étape de l’article, ou n’ont pas été mis au courant de celui-ci, la sélection volontaire et involontaire – par la censure notamment – ayant joué déjà sa fonction « protectrice ».

  10. Voir à ce sujet l’interview d’Ariane Bilheran et de Vincent Pavan autour de leur ouvrage Le débat interdit

  11. Un membre du Conseil de l’Ordre des médecins relèvera cette ambiguïté, où l’on peut insinuer, mais ne pas dire, soulignant un passage du livre « Y a‑t-il une erreur qu’ils n’ont pas commise », où Christian Perronne écrit que le taux de mortalité de Pfizer est plus important que celui du Covid.

  12. Pas plus d’ailleurs que de décider où s’arrête et où commence la liberté d’expression. Concernant cette dernière, l’avocat de Christian Perronne cite trois jurisprudences qui entérinent l’absence de limite à la liberté d’expression, deux de la Cour européenne des Droits de l’Homme, une du Conseil d’État.

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