It is 8:57 pm this Friday, September 18 when Bruno Le Maire lets know on Twitter: “I tested positive for Covid-19 this evening. I immediately went into isolation at my home […]. I have no symptoms. I will stay in solitary confinement for 7 days. I continue to exercise my functions. »Modest, reassuring sentences. However, the tenant of Bercy has indeed experienced a brutal form of the coronavirus. “It was short, but quite violent nonetheless,” testifies one of his government colleagues, who says that the Minister of the Economy even found himself at one point “almost unable to move because he was so taken by the tired “. Fortunately, the symptoms go away quickly. The following Tuesday, Bruno Le Maire posted a photo of himself in his private office: “At work at home. Have a good week and take care of yourself. “
Often accused of disconnection with the population, the political class is living with the coronavirus the same experience, intimate and painful, as all French people. No more question of supposed privileges, if not, in the very first weeks, easier access to tests: the pandemic puts the people and their representatives, all political families together, on an equal footing in the face of disease, in isolation . And even at death: the president of the Hauts-de-Seine departmental council (LR) Patrick Devedjian and the deputy (LR) of Paris Claude Goasguen succumbed to it.
“Several ministers have had it and have not said it publicly”
In essence, in contact with a large public, women and men politicians have been on the front line in terms of contamination. Without immediately taking the measure. “We were unconscious for a long time, we held public meetings while kissing everyone,” admits a ministerial adviser. On condition of anonymity, a member of the government assures us that “several ministers have had the coronavirus and have not said so publicly. We know it, but it is a subject that should certainly not be revealed. “
First member of the government to have contracted it, Franck Riester, then at Culture, isolated himself at home for three weeks. “In this disease, I have had ups and downs. In the morning, it was sometimes fine; in the evening, I had temperature rises, ”says the one who had no privilege. “If you have difficulty breathing, you do the 15th,” he was simply told. Bedridden at home, Emmanuelle Wargon, third minister to have fallen ill, herself the wife of an emergency doctor, remembers having received many personal messages of support. Including one by Edouard Philippe, his ex-classmate from the ENA: “we are counting on your return when you get better. “At the time, at the start of the epidemic, people thought quite quickly that we would end up in intensive care, when we had tested positive,” recalls the former Secretary of State for the Ecological Transition, after this been to Housing.
Fortunately, having the coronavirus can also be quite harmless. MEP (RN) Jean-Lin Lacapelle found himself positive at the end of October when he was tested for a trip to Lebanon. “I had no symptoms. I even did a second test to make sure! », Is astonished again this former smoker who nevertheless has lung problems and who immediately isolated himself. “My attending physician prescribed Professor Raoult’s treatment to me… but without my asking him! », He relates, amused.
The “four really hard days” of Jordan Bardella, 25 years old
Her colleague LR Nadine Morano, also positive, fueled with Doliprane, vitamin C at her home in Toul (Meurthe-et-Moselle). “And like every morning, two squeezed oranges, a grapefruit, a lemon and a tablespoon of curcumin! “Says the elected official who bought a blood pressure monitor and an oximeter. “The ARS called me to ask about my contact cases. But I refused to tell them: it is my personal life! It was I who called my contact cases, ”boils Lorraine, whose symptoms were limited to a few headaches and a little fatigue.
Despite his young age, 25, the vice-president of the RN, Jordan Bardella, lived at the end of October four “really hard” days of fever, aches and difficult breathing which even led him for a day to the emergency room of the ‘hospital. “It started gradually,” blows the lepenist who still has not found the taste and smell. “I take this opportunity to eat a lot of vegetables and no salt at all,” he positively.
But sometimes the symptoms refuse to go away. Sick a week after the municipal elections in March, the deputy (LR) Laurence Trastour-Isnart, 48, experienced “the Russian montages”. Dehydrated and weakened, she had to be hospitalized at the end of May. Even today, she has muscle pain and wonders “when will this end”.
“I wrote my will, I saw myself leaving”
An endless nightmare also experienced by her colleague LREM Patricia Mirallès. In March, she was hospitalized for seven days. Isolated in the clinic, the coronavirus “at the level of the viscera”, she asks her husband for sheets and a pen. “I wrote my will, I saw myself leaving”, says the elected official who today feels guilty for having “let go”. She still suffers from neuro-articular symptoms, she has “effusions” in her hand. This accomplished sportswoman is now “always tired”, out of breath “after 300 m”. She will soon table a bill for the coronavirus to be recognized as a long-term disease (ALD).
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On November 3, she participated in the heated debate in the National Assembly on the extension of the state of health emergency. “To be treated as an assassin, a murderer by the opposition [sur la fermeture des commerces]It was very violent ”, says this“ survivor ”, as she defines herself. So, when her turn comes to ask the government a question, she improvises a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the coronavirus. The hemicycle then freezes. “I was so angry that the best was not to say anything”, confides the deputy, bruised, that only silence finally calms. “I now have a different outlook on life and death,” she concludes. On the coronavirus, “we do not have the right to divide. We are no longer in a political game. “