France: Professor warns of impact of no further restrictions
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The French President has come under mounting pressure over his handling of the pandemic as infections continue to rise across Europe. French newspaper Le Monde has reported a series of scathing attacks on the leadership of Mr Macron from disillusioned colleagues in government.
One insider said they believed the French President has become such an expert on the virus that “he is no longer following the advice of scientists”.
Others say the 43-year-old has spent so much time opposing medical experts that he may as well change his occupation.
It is reported behind closed doors colleagues say: “The president has become an epidemiologist.”
Frictions between Mr Macron and his advisers are believed to be ongoing since last spring, when he took the unilateral decision to reopen schools.
President Macron is also understood to pay close attention to the Twitter account belonging to Guillaume Rozier, the founder of the CovidTracker site, which monitors the spread of the virus.
However, key allies of Mr Macron have come to his defence and praised his hands-on approach to tackle COVID-19.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said: “The president has acquired real expertise in health matters.”
The head of Mr Macron’s La République En Marche! party, Richard Ferrand added: “He looks for what’s new every day so as not to miss a thing.
“One day, he will be able to run for the immunology aggregation.”
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal made it clear Mr Macron does not believe he has the knowledge of experts, but insisted the President likes to have as much information as possible in his decision making.
He said: “Yes, the president is interested in anything related to the virus.
“But that does not mean that he is a substitute for epidemiologists.
“On the contrary, he wants to draw as much as possible from their analysis, before making a decision.”
France, like much of mainland Europe, is on the brink of a third coronavirus wave of infections.
Today, France’s health Ministry reported the country now has the highest number of COVID-19 patients admitted into intensive care units (ICU) this year.
There are currently 5,072 patients in ICU’s across the country.
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The last time France had more than 5,000 people in ICUs for coronavirus-related issues was on April 23, 2020.
The number of people in ICU peaked during the first wave, when there was 7,148 on April 8.
Speaking in parliament, Health Minister Olivier Veran said: “We will not let doctors be in a situation where they have to choose among patients”
France also reported 30,602 new coronavirus infections today – a week-on-week increase of 6.3 percent.
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