What do you think of the government’s management of the health crisis?
We are living in an unprecedented health crisis and I appreciate the difficulty of the task of the government, but there are questions, and questions which are legitimate. I am in favor of useful debate, not of unnecessary controversy. The useful debate aims to ask the right questions to end the crisis more quickly. The useful debate is asking why there is such a shortage of masks; why, unlike all European countries, we have not done massive screening with tests; why we were the only ones who didn’t follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization. The objective is not to distribute good or bad points to the government, but to identify possible failures and malfunctions to correct them and learn from them.
How to identify these failures?
I will propose to my group to table a resolution in the autumn to create a commission of inquiry, in order to learn all the lessons of the epidemic, in the health, economic, social, administrative and political fields. It is not a question of making a charge, but of answering a question: how did we get there? Three subjects crystallize the concerns of the French: the shortage of masks, the doctrine of screening tests, and the capacity in terms of beds of our resuscitation services.
Why wait for this fall?
Because we must concentrate our forces today on managing this crisis, and preserve national unity in a spirit of responsibility.
Are you not undermining national unity with this initiative?
No, because our aim is to enlighten the political leaders that we are, and to build the future on new foundations. There will be a before and after coronavirus. We will have to rethink all of our political software. I am one of those who think that the policies of public health budget cuts should be abandoned. Certain areas must escape accounting logic. I said this before the coronavirus crisis. Unlike Mme Le Pen or Mélenchon, we are not pyromaniac firefighters, but a responsible opposition. But the French wonder. National unity is also built on truth and transparency.
Are the containment measures sufficient?
No. The government needs to listen more to the WHO and massively strengthen testing. But containment has its uses. Containment is not a vacation. You have to be intractable with those who do not respect the rules. Why not mobilize the army via the Sentinel force alongside the police to enforce containment? The deterrent to going out must be absolute. There cannot be “at the same time” in terms of containment.
Should the measures taken be reinforced?
The question of the curfew should not be avoided. The government must also consider requisitioning private property to produce masks or hydroalcoholic gel. You can’t send the caregivers to the front without a bulletproof vest. Above all, avoid contradictory injunctions with devastating effects. To be respected, public speaking must be consistent and clear. Otherwise, it generates anxiety, therefore massive withdrawal rights and partial unemployment claims. And ultimately, as we have seen in the construction industry, you leave employers alone faced with an unmanageable situation.