Agnes Buzyn responded on Tuesday, June 30, to questions from members of the committee of inquiry charged with shedding gentle on the administration of the coronavirus well being disaster. A listening to beneath excessive stress that the previous Minister of Well being, then unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Paris, had meticulously ready earlier than the second spherical of the elections. For greater than three hours, this oncologist by coaching, who assured on January 23 – whereas she was nonetheless Minister of Well being – that France was "Extraordinarily nicely ready" was invited to touch upon the nation's preparedness for the dangers of a pandemic.
On masks shares
Appointed Minister of Well being in Might 2017, Mme Buzyn was in workplace when Jérôme Salomon ordered, within the fall of 2018, the destruction of greater than 600 million surgical masks from the strategic inventory. After this resolution, solely an order of 100 million had been positioned in 2019, removed from what would have been essential to replenish the inventory of 1 billion advisable by the consultants to face a pandemic.
The " stock administration " masks "Doesn’t return to the extent of the minister", defended herself Mme Buzyn, nevertheless making certain "Assume absolutely" the choices taken by its departments between Might 2017 and February 2020. "The vigilance that I will need to have is on dozens of merchandise", she insisted. And so as to add that if the eye was "A posteriori" on the problem of masks, iodine tablets within the occasion of a nuclear accident or protecting gear towards the Ebola virus weren’t topics "Much less vital".
The previous minister additionally assured that he was not conscious of the letter despatched by Public Well being France to the Directorate Common of Well being in September 2018 which knowledgeable specifically of the expiration of a giant a part of the strategic state inventory of masks and advisable shopping for this gear to convey the inventory to 1 billion masks.
She added that it was additionally not she who had taken the choice to destroy the masks deemed non-compliant when the inventory had not but been reconstituted. "I completely belief him and I take full accountability for the choices he makes", she mentioned of the director common of well being, Mr. Salomon, whom she appointed in 2018.
On the function of Public Well being France
The previous minister, however, criticized the function of the France Public Well being company, answerable for the administration of protecting gear.
"All of us need to request" the function of well being companies, she mentioned, saying that "Questions" existed on the "Stock management" these final years. "Be taught in 2018 that a big a part of the shares are expired … It requires asking the way it labored", she mentioned.
On his resignation at first of the disaster
The previous minister had chosen to depart the division in a rush on February 16 to put on the colours of the bulk, La République en Marche (LRM), within the municipal elections in Paris. Requested about her departure, she defined:
“I’m leaving the ministry on February 16. There have been no new instances in France for 9 days. (…) The Republic on the march now not has a candidate for the Paris Metropolis Corridor. I really feel that I’ve performed my job in getting ready the well being system. (…) I go away the ministry with the sensation that I’ve made the appropriate preparations. "
On his controversial interview with "Le Monde"
Disastrous by the well being disaster, the previous minister returned for The world, within the aftermath of the primary spherical of municipal elections, on his marketing campaign in Paris and his departure from the federal government. Specifically, she claimed to have "Alerted the director common of well being" from December 20 and "Despatched a message to the president on the scenario" January 11. "Once I left the ministry, she assured in The world, I used to be crying as a result of I knew the tsunami wave was forward of us. I left realizing that the elections wouldn’t happen. "
"When the reporter calls me, I firmly imagine that the second spherical can’t be held," she defined to parliamentarians. "I didn’t learn these phrases once more. These reviews weren’t submitted to me. " Earlier than including:
"I had spent a horrible day. I used to be very drained. I used to be accused on social media of not having seen something coming. It's fairly the alternative. I fought for a month. (…) What I mentioned to "Mwave" that day was “cease saying I haven't seen something ”. I’ve seen all the things. This text means that I’ve not ready ".
On France's stage of preparedness for the pandemic
Extra broadly, Mme Buzyn has repeatedly denied his ministry's lack of anticipation. "I’ve expertise of well being dangers via my career as a physician. (…) And so I'm at all times in anticipation ", did she say. She mentioned she had a primary alert across the Christmas interval by «A weblog in English (who) reported unexplained pneumonia ". Round January 11, China publicizes its first demise, and it "Then decides to tell the president and the prime minister".
"My consciousness modifications on January 22, as a result of the World Well being Group (WHO) says there may be human-to-human transmission ", she mentioned, assuring then having made many choices:
"I request that I be given the variety of resuscitation beds, the variety of respirators and that I be given all of the help capacities, shares, masks, gear, and many others. I ask that Public Well being France give me three potential situations for the evolution of the epidemic (…). I clearly ask amongst this record the place the masks are. "
"We’ve not stopped performing since January 10, once we discovered that it was a coronavirus", mentioned Mme Buzyn. The previous minister later returned to the cost: " You can not say that I didn’t anticipate and I cannot let it’s mentioned that the companies didn’t anticipate "
On the query of exams
Once more, Mme Buzyn largely insisted that, in response to her, her division had acted rapidly sufficient. When he left in late February, "The purpose was for all French hospitals to have entry to the exams. On the time, there have been a number of dozen suspected instances a day. (…) We had been on dozens of exams a day. "
Nevertheless, she added, "I anticipated the necessity for extra testing." That's why "Once I realized that the laboratory that was testing (at Bichat hospital) was a P3 laboratory, that’s to say a laboratory with a excessive stage of safety, with only a few machines, I instructed myself, and I requested the director common of well being – and a referral left as quickly as subsequent day -, “can't we decrease the extent of requirement to do the exams in a P2”? As a result of there isn’t any P3 in all hospitals in France. "