French ministers and confined collaborators: power in the face of the coronavirus

Emmanuel Macron went on Tuesday March 10 to the Samu call center (15) of the Parisian hospital Necker-Enfants Malades, which receives around 6,000 calls per day, double that in normal times. Ludovic Marin / POOL / AFP

Text by: Anthony Lattier Follow

The Minister of Culture in telework, the Minister of Justice and the director of cabinet of Emmanuel Macron confined, the protective measures around the President of the Republic reinforced: French power is affected in turn by the coronavirus and must, adapt too.


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" I'm fine. I suffer from classic flu symptoms. "On social networks, the Minister of Culture wants to be reassuring, this Tuesday, March 10, after having tested positive for coronavirus the day before. Franck Riester is in quarantine, but ensures that he continues to work from home. His Justice colleague is also confined this Tuesday afternoon. Nicole Belloubet is tested after feeling a little fever.

As you know, I have been diagnosed with #coronavirus. I work from my home, in connection with my office and the @MinistereCC teams. I sincerely thank all those who have shown me their support and friendship.

Franck Riester (@franckriester) March 10, 2020

Franck Riester, also a candidate for municipal elections in Coulommiers , warns that he is no longer able to campaign on the ground this week. Nor will he attend the Council of Ministers of tomorrow. For the past two weeks, " no one has shaken hands with it, " said the Minister of Health, Olivier Veran.

Five MPs infected

As is the rule, the authorities seek to identify all the people that Franck Riester has encountered in recent days. The minister notably spent time last week before the Cultural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, where seven cases were detected: five deputies and two employees were contaminated.

Since this weekend, no elected official has been going to the Bourbon Palace: the Assembly respects a two-week truce during the municipal elections, which will help curb the spread of the virus within the institution. In the meantime, several measures have been taken: public visits are postponed, the premises are disinfected, the deputies' collaborators are called upon to telework and the Assembly will " reduce its activities to only essential functions ". However, the President of the National Assembly, Richard Ferrand, warns: at the end of the truce, " the legislative work must continue ".

Macron not confined, but protected

Emmanuel Macron, he continues to be on the front line . " We are at the very beginning of the epidemic, " warned the president during a visit to an emergency services call center. Emmanuel Macron does not want to live confined, but the Élysée reinforced his protection on Monday: the presidency pays attention to each object that the head of state touches (pens, pads, files), the rooms are cleaned between each meeting, the number of visitors to the palace is limited, etc.

Measures are also taken for the staff around Emmanuel Macron: his main collaborators must be more careful in transport and limit their exits while Tuesday morning, the chief of staff of the president remained at home. He must do a screening test. He has no symptoms, but was in contact with an infected person last week.

In the event that the president is infected, and depending on his state of health, he could continue to work, while being confined. If ever he was "prevented", the Constitution provides for the continuity of the State: it would then be the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, who would assume the interim.

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