Salim Abdool Karim: the man outsmarting Covid-19

This is not his first pandemic, but this time Salim Abdool Karim — one of the government’s chief advisers on the coronavirus — is giving counsel to leaders who respect science

19 April 2020 - 00:00 By Zimasa Matiwane

Two decades ago, professor Salim Abdool Karim and his former PhD supervisor, Jerry Coovadia, were summoned to a Hilton Hotel suite filled with health officials, among them  Zweli Mkhize. There they were branded traitors, accused of being disloyal and told to “shut up and listen” by a beet-faced Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the minister of health at the time.

Their crime: using their scientific and political activist credentials to stem the infectious spread of Aids denialism advocated by then-president Thabo Mbeki and Tshabalala-Msimang by shaming them at a global gathering of scientists and policymakers — the International Aids Conference in Durban in July 2000...

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