COVID-19 in France: “On the masks, we were wrong”, admit the authorities

COVID-19 in France: « On the masks, we were wrong &raquo ;, admit the authorities

MISE & Agrave; DAY

French government spokesman Olivier Véran looks back in a book on his handling as Minister of Health of the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging that health authorities had “mistaken” ” initially judging “useless” the wearing of the mask by the entire population. 

“On the masks, we were wrong, neither more nor less”, affirms Wednesday the former minister in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien, on the occasion of the publication scheduled for Thursday of his book “Beyond the waves (Robert Laffont editions).

Besides, “this book is also an opportunity to apologize,” he said.

In March 2020, while the he COVID-19 epidemic was breaking out in France, the health authorities had considered it “useless” to extend the wearing of masks to the entire population.

At the same time, France lacked masks: reserves had fallen from almost two billion units (surgical masks and FFP2) in 2009 to 100 million on the eve of the health crisis. A shortage which then became the subject of controversy.

“Part of the public criticized us for having knowingly lied about the masks, to hide the shortage”, recalls Olivier Véran, which assures: “this is not the case. The truth is that, on the masks, we were wrong, neither more nor less”.

Mr. Véran explains that he took up the pen on the evening of the announcement of the first confinement to “remember later the emotion of the moment”, without imagining the extent that the crisis was going to take or knowing that he was going to make a book of it. .

He also confesses to having “touched the finger of burn-out”. In 2020, at the end of the first wave, “I had dizziness, deep nausea, my legs were throbbing”, he says, explaining that he was then sleeping “three hours a night”, jumping from meals and was under “permanent stress”.