In France we are watching the parallel unravelling of the Europeanist Macron presidency. The leader who began this pandemic with the stirring words “we are at war” – repeated ever since – cannot explain why the French state had failed to vaccinate more that 352 people by the beginning of this week when Italy has done 129,000, Poland 51,000, or Denmark 47,000. The Balkans have done better.
“We are facing a state-scandal,” said Jean Rottner, president of the Grand Est region and himself a critical care doctor. “It is harder to get vaccinated than it is to buy a car.”
Indeed. The elderly must have a medical consultation five days before the jab. There must be a cooling off period after consent in case patients change their minds.
The precautionary principle has been pushed to absurdity, which raises suspicions in France that foot-dragging on the roll-out disguises something else: failure to secure the specialist freezers needed for the BioNTech vaccine.