In conclusion, a long pro domo plea. For more than three hours, Tuesday evening November 17, at the National Assembly, Prime Minister Jean Castex – the last official to be heard by the commission of inquiry in charge of shedding light on the management of the crisis – defended before the government health policy deputies.
Brandishing graphs and curves in support of his demonstration, the head of government had to explain why the executive had seemed so surprised by the arrival of the second wave this fall, when he had had more than four months to s’ prepare for it, since the deconfinement of May 11.
More or less under control at the start of the school year, thanks to braking measures targeted by regions, the epidemic “Brutally” accelerated in October, “For reasons that scientists themselves do not explain well”, he said. A pandemic acceleration that has caught everyone “Backwards” and that he was “Extremely difficult to anticipate”, added Jean Castex, arguing that no other European country had done better.
The Prime Minister noted, however, that the possibility of a second wave “Was known to everyone and the risk of a planned re-containment”. This possibility was part of the report he had given to his predecessor Edouard Philippe in the spring, at the end of his “deconfinement mission” in Matignon. Jean Castex then recommended a series of measures to prepare the hospital system for the eventuality of this second wave.
Don’t “let your guard down”
Faced with a little weary deputies, the Prime Minister returned to the 10,000 resuscitation beds promised by Emmanuel Macronet the Minister of Health Olivier Véran to deal with the second wave. This figure, repeated on different occasions, sometimes inflated to 12,000 or even 14,000 beds, had been described as“Illusory” by many resuscitators. “The problem is not the beds, but the arms”, they were annoyed.
No detailed plan has ever been presented by the government to support this figure, but before the deputies, Jean Castex wanted to clarify what would be a misunderstanding. “There was never any question, in a month, two or six, of increasing the number of specialized nurses or anesthetists-resuscitators. No country has done it, it’s impossible ”, he admitted. ” What we do (…) it is reallocating resources to allocate them to intensive care ”, he said, explaining that“There was no magic wand”. The head of government called on the French not to ” Lower the guards “, because the situation in hospitals remains “Tense”. “We must at all costs avoid putting doctors in this ethical dilemma of choosing patients”, he recalled.
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