It could be a new exercise in pronunciation in actor training. To say distinctly “tocilizumab”, the name of a new drug to fight against severe forms of Covid-19, was very complicated for Boris Johnson. The British Prime Minister had to go through it several times before correctly pronouncing the name of the treatment, well helped by Professor Chris Whitty, alongside whom he was giving a press conference on February 15, from Downing Street reports the HuffPost.
This press conference was live. Boris Johnson did not admit defeat and clung to manage to pronounce “tocilizumab”, as well as his neighbor. On Twitter, this sequence was extensively commented on. “Not quite sure the ‘I’m just a normal guy like you, I can’t pronounce tocilizumab either’ is the response you expect from your leaders in a national emergency,” tweeted one internet user. Another called for “a gif of Boris Johnson trying to pronounce ‘tocilizumab'”.
– Antonello Guerrera (@antoguerrera) February 15, 2021
A drug prescribed for severe forms
The Prime Minister’s intervention aimed to return to the current vaccination campaign and consider deconfinement, recalls the HuffPost. The mention of this drug is due to the fact that Matt Hancock, the British Minister of Health, announced on February 11 that two new drugs including tocilizumab could be prescribed to hospitalized patients in intensive care.
Please can somebody create a gif of Boris Johnson trying to pronounce Tocilizumab during tonight’s briefing with Prof Chris Whitty!
— CCL (@asthmaCCL) February 15, 2021
On the same day, encouraging results from a Recovery clinical trial were reported by the University of Oxford. Since last April, 2,022 people have been treated with an intravenous injection of tocilizumab. The risk of death, mechanical ventilation and the length of hospital stay were reduced in these patients according to the study. Prescription of this drug could now be authorized in several states.