You had coronavirus. How are you today ?
I have been touched like thousands of our compatriots. After a week of treatment and several days of rest, things are better. The symptoms are gone.
Many French people were surprised that the policies were tested. How did it go for you?
As for thousands of French people. No more no less. I was examined by an emergency doctor because I had all of the symptoms. He decided to get me tested because after his examination, he considered it necessary. The test was positive at Covid-19. I then scrupulously respected the fourteen days of confinement and the treatment.
Have you been treated with chloroquine? Should this treatment be followed?
No, it was not prescribed to me. But, not being a doctor, I don’t feel empowered to comment on medical prescriptions. Generally speaking, we are facing an unprecedented and completely unprecedented national and global crisis. It requires a lot of humility, hindsight and modesty in the comments that can be made on the decisions made.
You would say, like Gérard Larcher in an interview with the Parisian, this weekend, that you are “alongside” the president and the prime minister in this crisis?
Everyone must be in the exercise of their responsibilities. I consider that the government is in its role; he acts. The Parliament and in particular the opposition gave him all the means to act by passing the habilitation laws. They allow the government to be able to govern by ordinances, which is not nothing. At Les Républicains, we acted with the same sense of responsibility as we did at the time of the attacks. The executive has his level of responsibility, the legislative his. I am not replacing the executive. What matters today is coping with the health crisis. This is the priority. We must give our full support to nursing staff, public and private, to all those who work in personal services, in establishments and at home, to all firefighters, police, gendarmes. The first support we can give them is first to respect the instructions given to us while staying at home.
Can we speak of a national union?
Spontaneously, you did not use this term. National union comes in principle after democratic consultation and political debate. Everyone then measures the state of the forces in Parliament and decides whether or not to form a national union. Today, we are not in this context. Everyone acts with responsibility within their own framework.
When the Prime Minister says on Saturday evening that he will “not let anyone say that there has been a delay in the decisions taken”, do you agree? Éric Ciotti does not share this point of view…
I also have my opinion. To tell you the truth, I don’t think the Prime Minister’s sentence was necessary. But the time for analysis and assessment, which will have to be done with rigor, composure and all the necessary objectivity as to the decisions taken, will come later. Today is not that time, we have to face the crisis.
Should we go further than the measures taken by the executive?
From the four corners of France and overseas we can see the lack of masks, coats, caps, swabs, respirators. Equipment is needed to meet this urgent health demand. Could we not on a large scale and as soon as possible convert existing factories to the production of these materials? Could we not also redirect our production of pharmaceutical and medical products on a large scale towards the products we need to cope with the growing number of patients? These debates deserve to be posed beyond the formidable local and individual initiatives. I would also like to salute all the local elected officials – mayors, departmental and regional elected officials, parliamentarians – who multiply themselves to find local solutions, from the purchase of hydroalcoholic gel to the obtaining of masks. There is a dedication and a huge mobilization of our elected officials on the ground.
Should we go as far as the nationalization of companies to redirect production?
I think we can do it without coming up with this solution. In my opinion, many companies would be ready to temporarily redirect their production to face the current health crisis. In addition, we will have to ask ourselves the question of partial debt deletion to support businesses and the relaxation of debt criteria. After the health emergency, the economic emergency is looming. This subject must be dealt with very quickly: we are at the end of the month, companies are paying wages by having no more turnover. The banks but also the insurance companies must take their share of responsibility. But these decisions will have to be coordinated at European level. Finally, it will be necessary to ask the question of a profound evolution of our social and economic model with the first challenge that of solidarity with all those who have been victims of a sudden cessation of production and economic activity.
Do you fear an increased fracturing of French society?
How not to be worried? This is why I refuse to enter into any political quarrel. Coordination of solidarity measures at European level is very quickly needed to revive our economies. Only national measures would not make sense. All of our savings are nested.
You had asked for the maintenance of the first round of municipal elections. Was it not a mistake when many of the assessors fell ill?
It was the Prime Minister who made the decision to maintain the first round based on consultation and the advice of the Scientific Committee. He explained this choice publicly. A few hours before this debate arose, we had gathered around the Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Interior and of Health. No one at the time, neither in the government nor in any political party, mentioned any particular difficulty in holding the polls, given the implementation of distance instructions and barrier gestures imposed by the government at polling stations.