Dr Catherine Hill was asked whether France could be in a better position if they acted quicker and outside of the European Union. In a frank admission, the scientist said that the French Government’s failures so far would probably indicate they would be no better if they acted unilaterally in tackling COVID-19. Dr Hill criticised President Macron for not acting quicker as new virus strains engulf the country and as a large anti-vaccine movement grows domestically.
Appearing on Channel 4, journalist Matt Frei sat down with Dr Hill to discuss France’s handling of the pandemic.
He asked: “Do you think France will be in a better position, when it comes to the vaccine rollout, if you did Britain did and not take part in the EU effort?”
Dr Hill replied: “I don’t think that was an option and considering the way the Government has handled the situation I’m not sure they would have done better than what the EU has done.
Mr Frei then asked: “So what did the government get wrong?”
Dr Hill explained: “What they got wrong since the beginning is not understanding that the virus goes fast.
“And if you wait until people have symptoms they already have been contagious for a few days.
“Seventeen percent of the population has had COVID-19 in France and they only have found a third of those cases.
“So the system is missing most of the cases and they are working very hard to find the contacts of the cases they find.
On the subject of vaccine nationalism and concerns about tackling the pandemic, Dr Hill said: “Vaccine manufacturers are doing their best to produce vaccines.
“And, of course, there’s a little bit of a problem if this country pays a little more than another, then some richer people are going to win.
“But there’s going to be enough vaccines at the end so it’s just a question of slowing down things a little bit here and there but it’s not so important, it’s just agitation.”
France’s Covid cases are beginning to soar again with over 30,000 daily cases reported on March 10 – the first time in two weeks.
Hospitals are also reaching capacity as ICU wards are being filled quickly.
The neighbouring country is also suffering with low vaccine doses as the EU failed to secure doses quick enough.
Despite this, Macron called the AstraZeneca jab “quasi-ineffective”, a move that has now been seen as fueling anti-vax sentiments in the country.