A hidden camera show broadcast in Tunisia uses actors to simulate serious reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine, the aim being to frighten a public figure. WHO has called for this program to be suspended.
Since mid-April, the private television channel Nessma TV has been broadcasting in Tunisia a new humorous daily program entitled “Angelina-19”, in reference to the famous American actress Angélina Jolie and to the Covid-19 virus which is at the origin of ‘a global epidemic. In these hidden cameras, the actress of Spanish origin Lina Sands (look-alike of Angelina Jolie) is presented as a UN ambassador who came to promote vaccination in the country, the goal being to trap one or more famous personalities.
As reported by the Tunisian website Webdo, the look-alike of Angelina Jolie offers vaccination against Covid-19 to several Tunisian citizens in a medical office on the pretext of having the official agreement of the WHO. A well-known Tunisian personality (a trapped guest) initially came to answer an interview is invited to be vaccinated to set an example for the citizens present (the accomplices) who must also receive a dose of the vaccine.
After the guest is vaccinated without problem, it is therefore the accomplices’ turn to receive a false injection. A few minutes after receiving their dose in front of the trapped guest, the actors simulate all kinds of serious reactions, even going so far as to mimic cardiac arrest. Of course, the trapped personality is all the more worried if they have just received a dose of the vaccine themselves.
WHO warns of “damage to public health”
If the sketch may have made some viewers laugh, it was not to the liking of the WHO. As reported by the Tunisian press agency TAP, the WHO representative in Tunisia, Yves Souteyrand, sent a letter to the Tunisian Minister of Health, Faouzi Mehdi, considering that this hoax violated “seriously the image of the organizations. UN, by associating them with a counterproductive parody of vaccination ”.
The world organization also accuses the Nessma TV channel of having made use of the visual identity of the WHO and the United Nations without their agreement and requests the suppression of this program. Last week, the Tunisian Order of Physicians also warned against the “negative repercussions” that this program could have on the progress of the vaccination campaign in the country.
In this letter, the WHO recalls that vaccination is the only way out of the Covid-19 epidemic and that “the media have a role to play in this area”. “But, it is to be feared that such a program broadcast on a popular channel with a broad audience, on the contrary, by associating the vaccine with death or serious side effects, to promote skepticism, reluctance to vaccine and conspiracy, ”the same source reads.
For the time being, 19 hidden cameras lasting around 15 minutes have been broadcast on Nessma TV and then on the media’s YouTube channel. The producer of the “Angelina-19” program, Walid Zribi, made a point of speaking after this controversy, believing on the contrary that the hidden camera encouraged “vaccination”. Asked on the airwaves of Mosaïque FM on April 27, the producer judged that the press release from the Order of Physicians was populist and that it represented a waste of time.
Tunisia has recorded 311,000 cases of Covid-19 for 10,800 deaths since the start of the pandemic. In addition, 385,000 people have already been vaccinated as of May 1, according to the authorities, or around 3.3% of the population.