“The president meets a lot of people, and I can tell you that if he had not been absolutely vigilant, in nine months of the epidemic, he would have been contaminated earlier”. The sentence is from Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson, who flew Thursday evening on BFMTV to the rescue of Emmanuel Macron when he was asked this question: the head of state, tested positive for Covid 2019 Thursday, a- has he committed an imprudence?
If the messages of speedy recovery have been raining down since the revelation on Thursday morning of the positive test of the French president, another little music begins to rise since the revelation of his possible contamination a week ago at the European summit in Brussels, and especially of the existence a dinner with ten members of the majority, Wednesday evening at the Elysee Palace, a few hours before the onset of the first symptoms.
“One law for humans and another for the heroes of Olympus”
While the French are invited to be extremely careful for the Christmas holidays, and asked not to sit at the table with more than six, the contamination of the head of state, who recalls that the disease can affect any who, according to his entourage, has for some the taste of “do what I say but not what I do”.
François Ruffin, rebellious deputy, has also put his feet in the dish this Friday morning on Twitter: “Guys gluttony seafood at 10 until past midnight!” While for us, for normal people, it’s not more than 6 at the table even for New Year’s Eve! There is a law for humans and above the laws Jupiter and the heroes of Olympus. “
So, the head of state reckless? Or a false controversy? “The president is extremely attentive to barrier measures”, pleaded Thursday the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon, noting that the president had isolated himself “at the slightest symptom and had made a test at the slightest doubt.”
What about this dinner? “The number 6 which was given is not a scientific number”. Asked about RTL, Secretary of State Marlène Schiappa did not say anything else : “The rule of 6 at the table is really for convivial moments, parties”. Gabriel Attal therefore had to insist on BFMTV: “He has absolute vigilance in barrier gestures, wearing a mask, social distancing, there is hydroalcoholic gel everywhere at the Elysee Palace”.
Olivier Truchot, journalist of the same channel, had also cracked a scathing tweet Thursday, “Let no one talk to us about 6 at the table.” Responding to this tweet, the LREM deputy and former adviser to the Head of State Pierre Person was offended this Friday: “To suggest that a working meeting bringing together the main actors of the majority is akin to an evening- raclette with friends, and that the president should go to bed in front of Netflix at 8 p.m., that’s low-level populism. “
Regarding the famous Wednesday dinner, if the gauge greatly exceeded the recommendation of six guests, the participants respected “a strict sanitary protocol”, argues the executive, emphasizing the large dimensions of the room and the table. .
“There was a four-meter gap between each participant, we spoke with a microphone and we all wore a mask. Except to eat… of course ”, assured us a participant. No contact? Not entirely. “When we arrived, the president greeted each of us with a nod.”
Our analyzes and indiscretions on power
The results of the participants’ tests will quickly make it possible to know if a cluster was born during this dinner.
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As to where the president himself was infected, all eyes are on Brussels, where the president had spent twenty hours non-stop with the leaders of the 27, including a night of negotiations – “Unfortunately, we are not not immune to contamination ”, even acknowledged on France 5 the Minister of Health Olivier Véran. But the week was particularly busy with meetings, with several working meals and without forgetting a meeting with more than 70 members of the Climate Convention, at a good distance.
If the Elysee had not yet been affected, the Covid has invited itself several times to the Assembly, which was even a cluster last spring. Cocktail party and “breakfasts” with “outside speakers” … parliamentary collaborators and union sources today continue to deplore certain deviations from the health rules in the Assembly, the deputies however ensuring to respect the barrier gestures.