French scientist passed away at 89 years of age, Luc Montagnier, a Nobel prize winner scientist for medicine for his co-discovery of the HIV that causes AIDS, was hospitalized at the mayor of the Paris suburb and renounced the world.
Montagnier died at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine northwest of Paris; its mayor Jean-Christophe Fromantin told AFP he had the death certificate.
French President Emmanuel Macron praised his “major contribution” to the fight against HIV/AIDS, “which will be recognized as one of the most significant medical and scientific challenges of the 21st century”, and sent his condolences to Montagnier’s family.
Montagnier was honoured by the Nobel Prize in 2008; he shared the title with his colleague Francoise Barre-Sinoussi; they were honoured by the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to discover human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), also called AIDS.
The scientific community isolated him in the later years as he held increasingly against vaccines, mainly. His outcast status improved during the COVID-19 pandemic when he declared the virus was laboratory-made and that vaccines were liable for the appearance of variants.
Reports of Montagnier’s death spread online over the last 24 hours, but AFP could not instantly get confirmation.
The unusual lack of information surrounding such a well-known figure appeared to reflect Montagnier’s current standing in the scientific community.
A former star among French researchers, he had lost their support over the past decade over positions they felt could not share.
He repeatedly took up positions against vaccines, earning a stinging reprimand in 2017 from 106 members of the Academies of Sciences and Medicines.
The French daily Le Figaro described his journey from leading researchers to crank as a “slow scientific shipwreck”.
During the COVID pandemic, he stood out again, stating that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was laboratory-made and that vaccines were responsible for the appearance of variants.
These theories, rejected by virologists and epidemiologists, made him even more into a pariah among his peers but a hero to French anti-vaxxers.