French President Emmanuel Macron is faced with hard decisions in the run-up to Easter and at the top of that list is a choice of bringing back a hard lockdown, or not.
The French leader has been sending his troops to the front, one minister after the other, one TV station after another, to blame the perfidious British for the country’s woes. He, himself, has attempted to keep his cool by refusing to apologise for not following medical advice in January, when the situation was already dire, to impose a new national lockdown.
The rollout of vaccines has been farcical, hindered by red tape, delayed decisions, and incorrect information broadcast from the very top of the French hierarchy. Yet, Macron admits nothing.
“There won’t be a mea culpa from me. I don’t have remorse and won’t acknowledge failure,” he said on Friday.
He blames the British for not exporting vaccines – despite his infamous rubbishing of the AstraZeneca shot as ’quasi-ineffective.’ Last week he blamed the rest of the EU for not joining in tough action against the Brits over exports.
In the meantime, the medical situation in France has gone from worrying to worse. Demand for intensive care beds has reached record levels since the peak of the second wave in November and doctors may soon be making life and death choices over access.
On Sunday, several dozen emergency care doctors in the Paris region wrote an open letter saying that hospitals will soon have to ration access to intensive care beds. “We cannot remain silent without betraying the Hippocratic oath we once made,” they wrote.
On Monday night France reported 360 new deaths. On the same day that its own lockdown was partly eased, the UK reported 23.
It should be clear by now that the only factor that matters is an effective campaign of inoculation, never mind on which side of the Channel you sit.
PHOTO: Medical staff carry a coronavirus patient from an aircraft during a transfer operation from Lille to Vannes hospital, France Stéphane Mahé/Reuters