French President Emmanuel Macron has a fever, cough and fatigue and has a military doctor by his bed in Versailles after contracting the coronavirus.
Macron, 42, said he was “fine” while staying at a residence called La Lanterne after testing positive for Covid-19, which sparked a frantic contact pursuit among EU leaders.
The Elysee’s chief physician, Jean-Christophe Perrochon, will remain in isolation at Macron during his quarantine, while First Lady Brigitte Macron, 67, in Paris, according to Le Parisien.
While Macron is in a younger age bracket than most of the world’s leading companies and has no known medical issues, he was already developing symptoms by the time his diagnosis was announced Thursday.
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced today that he had tested positive for Covid-19 with Macron and 23 other EU heads of state and government one week after his EU summit in Brussels.
THURSDAY: French President Emmanuel Macron can be seen on a screen wearing a face mask and showing his thumbs to the camera after testing for Covid-19 and now self-isolating
The 42-year-old Macron lives in a residence called La Lanterne (picture) in Versailles and suffers from a fever, cough and fatigue
Macron said he was fine, but admitted that he had to slow down his activities due to persistent symptoms, according to a video message posted on his Twitter account today.
He said, “I wanted to reassure you – I’m fine. I have the same symptoms as yesterday, especially fatigue, headache, dry cough, like hundreds of thousands of you who have had to live with the virus or are living with it today.
“I’m working a little slower because of the virus, but I will continue to focus on high-priority issues, such as how we deal with the epidemic or the Brexit dossier, for example.”
He said he would be providing regular updates on his health and admitted that he may have contracted the disease through “a moment of negligence.”
Health fighter angry that Macron sat down with 10 older colleagues for dinner
BY PETER ALLEN FOR MAILONLINE
Criminal charges that could lead to jail terms were filed at a dinner organized by French President Emmanuel Macron before going down with coronavirus.
Health fighters are furious that the 42-year-old head of state sat down with up to 10 high-ranking colleagues for a meal at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Wednesday evening.
The next day, Mr. Macron’s staff confirmed that he had tested positive for Covid-19 after showing “mild symptoms” caused by the virus.
Not only did the dinner take place in the middle of a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the French capital, it also violated government guidelines that limited the number of seats at a table to six.
On Friday, two Paris-based advocacy groups called “The Collective Victims of Coronavirus France” and “The Hanged” filed criminal charges of “endangering the lives of others”.
This is a criminal offense in France – an offense that can be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of 15,000 euros (£ 13,600).
Maître Fabrice Di Vizio, the groups’ lawyer, said Friday that the complaint was originally filed against “X” which means it may be directed at anyone who helped or attended the organization of the dinner.
Mr Macon is dismissed from possible indictment as he enjoys immunity from prosecution as President of France.
Jean Castex, the prime minister, is also believed to have a legal privilege, according to those familiar with the complaint.
Among those who may face trial is Richard Ferrand, President of the National Assembly, the second chamber of the French Parliament.
Christophe Castaner, the boss of Mr. Macrons En Marche! The party (on the move) in parliament and the former interior minister is also a possible defendant.
En Marche too! MPs and key Macron policy advisors, including Stanislas Guérini and Thierry Solère, were all at dinner, which lasted until around 12.30 p.m.
Maître Di Vizio told Capital magazine that the Elysée employees were threatened by the food “that did not fall within the scope of the exceptions provided for in the curfew: it was not urgent and could have been replaced by a video conference.”
The Paris prosecutor confirmed that the complaint had been made, while the Élysée insisted that all health guidelines were followed.
“It was a working lunch in a large salon with everyone adhering to social distancing guidelines,” a president source said.
Mr Macron had retired to La Lanterne, the official presidential residence in Versailles, west of Paris, to continue working in isolation on Friday as he tried to overcome his illness.
Following his coronavirus diagnosis, there were fears that the president might have infected others after a hectic week in which Mr Macron appeared to have little interest in social distancing.
On Monday, Mr Macron was pictured shaking hands with Angel Gurria, director of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in the courtyard of the Elysée Palace. He also hugged the 70-year-old who is now isolated.
This despite Mr Macron’s tweeting on July 12th: “You know them, they save lives: barrier gestures are not an option!”
These “barrier gestures” include avoiding handshakes, hugs, and kisses. On Thursday, an advisor to Mr. Macron admitted that Mr. Macron made an “unfortunate” mistake while shaking hands with Mr. Gurria, adding, “It is undeniable.”
Mr Macron’s wife, Brigitte Macron, is also self-isolating, but in the Élysée and not in Versailles.
Macron suffers from a fever, cough and fatigue, presidency officials said on Friday.
They wouldn’t provide details of his treatment.
In the days leading up to his positive test, he had rubbed his shoulders with a long list of EU leaders in Paris and Brussels – the leaders of Spain and Portugal among those who are now isolated.
Macron, who, along with British Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump, is putting together a growing list of world leaders who have signed Covid-19, will isolate for seven days, but plans to continue the country via video conference.
He also canceled a planned trip to Lebanon on December 22, where he led reform efforts following the catastrophic port explosion in Beirut in August.
Macron appeared on screen last night at a conference on French foreign aid policy. He was wearing a mask but didn’t look visibly sick.
On Thursday, an adviser to Mr. Macron admitted that Mr. Macron made an “unfortunate” mistake while shaking hands with fellow politicians, saying, “It is undeniable.”
Macron had only embraced Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Wednesday and shook hands with 70-year-old OECD chief Jose Angel Gurria on Monday.
An official for the president said Macron was likely already infected by this point because he was likely infected with the virus at last week’s EU summit.
Macron mingled with other EU leaders in the summit room and was filmed punching some of his colleagues.
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced today that he had tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the summit.
“Today I’m one of you,” wrote Matovic on his Facebook page, adding a screenshot of a text message with his test results.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, 66, tested negative for the virus along with all but two of the 27 EU heads of government after attending the summit.
The President made a test “as soon as the first symptoms appeared,” said the Elysee in a brief statement on Thursday morning.
An official later added that he had “mild symptoms” which he began to feel late Wednesday.
The Senate and National Assembly party leaders said they would do the same because they had lunch with Mr. Macron on Tuesday.
According to French government guidelines, no more than six people are allowed to eat together during the pandemic, but there were up to 20 people at Macron’s table.
Boris Johnson, who had an alarming horror of the virus in April, sent best wishes to his “friend”, Mr. Macron, in English and French on Thursday.
Mr Johnson tweeted, “I’m sorry to hear my friend Emmanuel Macron tested positive for coronavirus. We all wish you a speedy recovery. ‘
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was “wholeheartedly” with the French President.
“We will defeat this pandemic together,” she said on Twitter. “We will continue to work hand in hand to immunize and protect our citizens.”
A key aspect of the EU talks was the implementation of a Covid vaccine on the continent.
The EU lags behind the UK, which has already started injecting people with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
A decision by the EU regulatory authority is expected in the coming days, according to officials such as the German Minister of Health Jens Spahn.
Brexit was also dominant, in which Macron came together closely with both Merkel and Von der Leyen.
He was also seen gesturing in the face of Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s face while standing just a few meters from Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Other people present were the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
Days after the summit, Macron took the 59-year-old Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in his arms on the steps of the Elysees.
He also welcomed dignitaries to an OECD meeting on Monday attended by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and European Council President Charles Michel.
Sanchez, Costa and Michel are among the isolators, although none of them claim to have tested positive.
Macron’s wife Brigitte has been in isolation for the second time after being quarantined in October after coming into contact with someone who tested positive.
WEDNESDAY: French President Emmanuel Macron with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa (59) on Wednesday in the Elysee Palace
MONDAY: Macron (second from left) meets with dignitaries for a meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development: the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the Secretary General Angel Gurria, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay
MONDAY: French President Emmanuel Macron pats Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on the back when he comes to work at the palace on Monday
MONDAY: Macron shakes hands and holds 70-year-old Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in the palace on Monday
FRIDAY: Macron in a diplomatic scramble with Chancellor Angela Merkel (left), President of the Uropean Council Charles Michel (center) and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (right)
LAST THURSDAY: Macron speaks with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in tense Brexit discussions – the virus has an incubation period of up to 14 days
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10: French President Emmanuel Macron (center) speaks to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (right) during a round table during an EU summit in the European Council building in Brussels
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7: Mr. Macron and his wife greet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the palace. Mr. Macron’s 67-year-old wife, Brigitte, is also in isolation
Boris Johnson, who was verbally abused by Mr. Macron during personal Brexit talks, tweeted: “I’m sorry my friend @EmmanuelMacron tested positive for coronavirus. We all wish you a speedy recovery. ‘
Hugs the 59 year old Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costaat the Elysee Palace.
Meets with The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the OECD chief Angel Gurria and the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11th:
Macron is at the center of the EU summit in Brussels – meets withCommission President Ursula von der Leyenand Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Ms. Merkel’s office said she tested negative after the summit.
Others were presentThe Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10th:
The French President is seen in a diplomatic scramble with the Hungarian Prime MinisterViktor Orbanand Austrian Federal ChancellorSebastian Kurz.
WHO IS SELF-INSULATING?
The Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, the President of the EU Commission Michel, the French Prime Minister Jean Castex, the Speaker of the Parliament Richard Ferrand and Ms. Brigitte from Mr Macron.
You haven’t tested positive.
The virus has an incubation period of 14 days, which means anyone who has come into contact with Mr. Macron by December 3rd is advised to get tested and self-isolate.
France eased restrictions on fighting the second wave of coronavirus earlier this week, but infection rates remain high.
There is still an overnight nationwide curfew from 8 p.m. to stop the spread of the virus, while restaurants and cafes, as well as theaters and cinemas, remain closed.
According to official information, over 59,300 people have died of coronavirus in France since the pandemic began.
The record of over 17,000 new cases on Wednesday alone has also raised concern as people shop and travel more intensively before the Christmas holidays.
Like other EU countries, France is putting its hopes on the vaccine to quell the virus, and Castex said the country will receive around 1.16 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year.
According to Castex, the start of the vaccination campaign was subject to approval by the European Medicines Agency, which is expected on December 21.
“We won’t open the vaccination program to the entire population until the end of spring,” he added.
“Vaccines are an important source of hope, but when you look at the vaccination options we will have in France and elsewhere in Europe, it will take time,” immunologist Jean-François Delfraissy told BFM television this morning.
Delfraissy estimated that there are 22 million people in France who are more vulnerable than others and that it could be until May before they are all vaccinated before the shots can be spread to others.
Another problem facing the French authorities is that, according to an opinion poll, only 53 percent of people would like to be vaccinated, which is among the lowest rates in the world.
France had the first virus case in Europe in January, but Macron’s government was criticized for not having enough masks or tests and not restricting the population fast enough.
A strict two-month lockdown halted infections and France sent children back to school and their parents back to work.
But infections picked up again that fall, so he declared a new, gentler lockdown in October to ease pressure on hospitals.
Measures have been eased slightly this week, although restaurants, attractions, gyms and a few other facilities remain closed.
France recorded more than 17,000 new cases on Wednesday – which was a cause for concern as people shop and travel more before the Christmas holidays
The virus has resurfaced in France, as it has in the rest of Europe, and there are serious fears that deaths could increase in the colder winter months
Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron leave the country on November 26th in Paris after paying homage to the fighter of the Second World War and the “Compagnon de la Liberation” Daniel Cordier
Brigitte Macron gives schoolchildren a dictation on October 12th in a school in Le Chesnay near Versailles in support of the European Leukodystrophy Association (ELA)
Macron and his wife Brigitte spoke to volunteers from the uvres de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) association, which looks after sick and disabled children, in Paris on October 6th
MONDAY: Macron (l) talks to Louise Ekland on stage during the rugby world cup France 2023 draw at Palais Brongniart