It was 17 months ago, and this September 17, 2018, Samir Mesbahy had a hollow nose. In the premises of the Parisian-Today in France, gathered with five other readers around Agnes Buzyn, this hospital doctor had wanted to add to the vast interview a very last question: “The Parisian that you are going to to present to the town hall of Paris? “With a half-surprised, half-flattered face, the Minister of Health had left her destiny free:” Honestly, I have no idea what I will do after my ministry and it doesn’t matter . My career has been so different from what I planned that I stopped planning on the comet. “
In the galaxy of possibilities, the 58-year-old doctor finally chose that of politics this Sunday. An area in which the former stepdaughter of Simone Veil is a novice, she who has never been confronted with the polls. ” So what ? This does not prevent her from being the ideal candidate for Paris, retorts Yann Bubien, the current director general of the CHU de Bordeaux who was in the ministry his deputy chief of staff for more than two years. She is competent, hardworking, benevolent, speaks fluent English… ”he defends, full of praise.
Others are much less tender. “Failure” here, “delusional”, there … “What irresponsibility”, strangles the environmental senator (supports Anne Hidalgo) and general practitioner Bernard Jomier, pointing to the departure of a minister in the spotlight, in the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, to which she was to devote a large meeting the morning of February 18, on the 7th floor of 14 avenue Duquesne where she (has) her office.
“She’s a hell of a technician”
This is where Agnès Buzyn became known to the general public, in May 2017 by being offered the very beautiful and very large portfolio of Solidarity and Health. But the quinqua with a wise look, had not waited for the election of Emmanuel Macron to climb prestigious floors. Professor Buzyn (as evidenced by the plaque still affixed to her old office at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris), a hematologist recognized by her peers, was in turn at the head of important institutes, such as that of nuclear safety (IRSN) or the fight against cancer (Inca) then president of the High Authority for Health (HAS), before becoming minister.
“She’s a hell of a technician,” say those who work alongside her. “A technocrat, rather! It prefers institutions to the field ”, replies Hugo Huon, nurse and president of the Inter-Emergencies group, recognized as one of the initiators of the great strike movement which has shaken the public hospital for almost a year.
Crises, this rock and metal fan (her favorite group is Linkin Park), have known many since entering the government scene: emergencies, psychiatry, Levothyrox … On a personal level, her husband Yves Lévy ended up giving up running for a new term as head of Inserm after the outbreak of a controversy over the risk of conflict of interest with the ministry occupied by his wife.
A captain who abandons his ship in the middle of a storm
Agnès Buzyn is also the one who, upon her arrival, has successfully achieved the feat of increasing the number of compulsory childhood vaccines to eleven to fight against the return of measles in particular. Or to defund homeopathy, a measure that will be fully effective on January 1, 2021. “She managed two heat waves with great skill,” says Yann Bubien.
“All her files, she led them with talent, attention, listening”, abounded this Sunday the deputy Olivier Véran, become a few hours later … his successor. But for Hugo Huon, the account is not there. “She is the boat captain who abandons her ship in the middle of a storm. The future will tell if the doctor was right to prick herself on these new winds.