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Agnès Buzyn on the defensive earlier than the fee of inquiry on the coronavirus

The "anticipation" in France of the epidemic of Covid-19 was "with out widespread measure with the opposite European international locations" and "at all times prematurely" in comparison with the alerts of the worldwide organizations, was defended, Tuesday, the previous Minister of Well being Agnès Buzyn, earlier than the Fee of Inquiry of the Nationwide Meeting.

Throughout the well being disaster brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, this query was requested by many French folks: was the nation ready to face such a disaster? It’s subsequently one of many questions that will likely be requested this week by the Nationwide Meeting's committee of inquiry into the administration of the Covid-19 disaster.

Whereas 4 former well being ministers are going to be heard by deputies about France's potential preparations for the pandemic, it was Agnès Buzyn who was interviewed first, Tuesday, June 30.

Lengthy-awaited, after having precipitately left her submit in mid-February to embark on the municipal race in Paris, Agnès Buzyn herself had stated that she was impatient to talk on this problem.

"I by no means underestimated the chance"

"You can’t say that we weren’t reactive", she defended herself earlier than the fee of inquiry, whereas assuring that the "anticipation" in France was "with out widespread measure with the others European international locations "and" at all times forward "of alerts from worldwide organizations relating to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Minister assured having additionally requested Public Well being France "three situations of evolution of the epidemic", requested the analysis buildings "a analysis protocol" with the medicine already obtainable.

Two days earlier than he left the ministry on February 16, the European Middle for Illness Prevention and Management nonetheless assessed the chance to the capability of European well being programs as "low to reasonable," she stated.

"I by no means underestimated the chance and I ready our well being system always" earlier than leaving the ministry, she added, including "absolutely (r) take the choices made by (his ) providers and (his) ministry ".

Agnes Buzyn additionally stated that when she left the ministry, she felt she had finished her "preparation work".

"I consider that I’ve finished my preparatory work on the Ministry of Well being. The entire system is being ready and below stress," she instructed deputies.

"Cease saying I noticed nothing, I noticed every thing"

In an interview with Le Monde on March 16, the day after the primary spherical of the municipal elections, she had precipitated an argument by saying that she regretted the "masquerade" of the municipal elections and expressed the doubts that had assailed her when she threw herself into the battle, lastly misplaced, for the city corridor of Paris.

"After I left the ministry, I used to be crying as a result of I knew that the tsunami wave was earlier than us. I left figuring out that the (municipal) elections wouldn’t happen," she stated on this interview.

"I had spent a horrible day, I used to be drained, I used to be accused on social networks of not having ready something, she pleaded in response to a query about this interview. Fairly the opposite, I fought for a month (…). What I needed to say is 'cease saying that I noticed nothing', I noticed every thing ".

The central query of the shortage of masks

The previous minister was additionally questioned in regards to the lack of masks, which can have precipitated a variety of ink to move throughout confinement, whereas a letter from the general public well being company France public well being really useful in 2018 to replenish the inventory of masks as much as of a billion models.

Agnès Buzyn defined that she instantly requested a listing of all shares of protecting tools, together with masks, in addition to the variety of resuscitation beds and respirators. She assured having launched a primary order of 1,000,000 FFP2 masks, absent from strategic state shares.

In April 2010, this inventory amounted to 1 billion surgical masks and 700 million FFP2 masks, extra protecting, stated June 24 to the fee of inquiry Didier Houssin, Director Normal of Well being (DGS) from 2005 to 2011 .

However at first of 2020, this inventory had decreased to 117 million surgical masks for adults, 40 million pediatric masks, and no extra reserves of FFP2.

"This administration of protecting masks shares, it doesn’t return to the extent of the minister. (…) The vigilance that I should have is on dozens of merchandise," she replied earlier than the fee.

"You can’t blame me on January 23, when there isn’t any epidemic in Europe, for telling the French that you shouldn’t put on a masks, when as well as, the doctrine of worldwide suggestions says that masks are for sick folks, "she insisted.

Senate Fee of Inquiry

Wednesday, it’s Marisol Touraine (Minister from 2012 to 2017), who will likely be questioned by the members of the fee, then Roselyne Bachelot (2007-2010), earlier than Xavier Bertrand (2005-2007 then 2010-2012) closes the promenade Thursday.

In parallel, the Senate, dominated by the right-wing opposition, voted unanimously, Tuesday, the creation of a fee of inquiry on the administration of the coronavirus well being disaster requested by its president Gérard Larcher (LR) .

Established for six months, the fee can have a format expanded to 36 members and can start its hearings in July, whereas in accordance with an evaluation established by AFP, from official sources Tuesday, the pandemic has killed 29,813 folks in France .

With AFP and Reuters