Fleming Peter Piot becomes Von der Leyen’s special adviser on corona

Flemish scientist Peter Piot has been appointed to advise European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on research and innovation in ways of dealing with the corona pandemic.

“We want to win the battle against coronavirus and we must base our efforts on the advice of leading experts” the German said.    “Prof Piot’s invaluable experience will help us to speed up the development and use of vaccines, diagnoses and treatments.”

Prof Piot (71), who already formed part of the scientific committee advising the commission, will also have the task of considering strategies to deal with future pandemics.

The Fleming first came to prominence as one of the scientists to discover Ebola, another nasty virus, in the then Zaire (DR Congo).  For many years he was also involved in AIDS research.  Prof Piot has headed the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2010.

He’s also had coronavirus recently telling the Flemish weekly Knack that despite his earlier brushes with viruses this latest experience would change his life: “You feel so much more vulnerable” he said.

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