Emmanuel Macron has been ridiculed by French media and scientists for positioning himself as an authoritative academic figure on COVID-19. Mr Macron’s PR teams have attempted to portray the head of state as a leading expert on coronavirus as France’s scientific advisors remain silent due to their advice being ignored. It comes as Mr Macron wants to open up the country in May to give citizens a “good summer” but data shows no slow down of new cases and deaths.
Mr Macron has also drawn the ire of many virologists for fueling anti-AstraZeneca sentiments for questioning the effectiveness of the dose.
The French President said the dose was “quasi-ineffective” for those aged 65+ and was one of the first nations to pause its rollout over bloodclot fears.
A YouGov poll revealed 61 percent of French respondents believe the AstraZeneca vaccine is unsafe compared to only nine percent of Brits who think the same.
Times Radio Host Alexis Conran discussed the conflict in France and said: “I read a headline in the Le Monde newspaper and I didn’t quite know whether they were being ironic or they were being serious.
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“But they were claiming that President Macron has become the leading expert in France, he has read up so much and he now is in a position where he can ignore the scientists and take all the decisions for himself.
“Were they being sarcastic or did they really mean that?”
France 24 journalist Emma James who was on the show replied: “I sincerely hope that they were being sarcastic but the people who aren’t are those who surround Emmanuel Macron.
“And we have had his sort of flunkies, his PR people say that he will be an epidemiologist by the end of all this.
“He’s read all the studies, he’d studied things like how much of the virus was existing in sewers in Paris.
“They were basically trying to claim that he had looked at it all and decided that he knew better than everybody else.
“And it isn’t something that’s going to play out well at all because we can see from the numbers that clearly it was not the right decision to make.
“The Scientific Council, which is the group that advises the French government on the Covid master plan if you like.
“They’ve been virtually silent since the middle of January because they seem to have been very upset at being ignored because they were absolutely certain the country needed to go into lockdown at end of January.
“The numbers were rising all the time and have continued to do so and now are rising dramatically.
“They have now broken their silence once again because Emmanuel Macron when he spoke last week said one headline in a newspaper said the lockdown continues and ends.
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“Because he seemed to be moving on so quickly to looking optimistic and hopeful and talking about the country reopening and reopening things like restaurants by the middle of May.
“But we’re not expected to reach the peak of this until the end of April and the Scientific Council are saying this is crazy.
“You have to look at the next two months of strict intense measures if we are going to get this under control by June.
“Because Emmanuel Macron says he wants the French people to have a normal summer.
“And what the Scientific Council says is if you only have a lockdown for one month, that is not going to happen.”
France was put into another national lockdown as new Covid variants rip through the neighbouring country.
ICU doctors warn their wards are reaching breaking point as some Parisian hospitals have been forced to airlift patients to other rural facilities.