The Fall of Dr. Raoult

The good doctor returns to First Things with an essay on the demise of Dr. Didier Raoult, the (in)famous French microbiologist who falsely claimed hydroxychloroquine as a valid treatment for Covid-19.

A man who, whatever his faults, had deserved well of his fellow creatures, who contributed more than most to the reduction of the concrete suffering of mankind, will now be remembered not for the good he did nor for the enlightenment he brought, but for a kind of charlatanry, without his ever truly having been a charlatan. He is a man destroyed by the dialectical relationship of ego to mankind’s willingness to invest gurus with all but ­supernatural powers.

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