Back to the front line. Withdrawn from the Covid crisis since his last official intervention on the subject, on July 14, Emmanuel Macron upsets his plans. Faced with the uncontrolled rebound of the epidemic, the President of the Republic resumes this Wednesday evening with an exercise that he had delegated to his government since the start of the school year: the televised intervention. But no question of dramatizing. If at the start of the crisis, he had chained the solemn speeches from the Elysee Palace and the messages delivered during field trips, it was in the form of an interview, from 7:55 p.m. on TF1 and France 2, that the Head of State will address this time to the country. And not just to talk about the health crisis. “He will try to give prospects and a little hope to the French in this area, explains a minister. He is not there to add anguish to the anguish. “ And for good reason.
The rebound of the epidemic is flattening the entire strategy of the Head of State. With the reshuffle of last July and the replacement of Édouard Philippe by Jean Castex, Emmanuel Macron wanted to turn the page on the health crisis, act on the economic recovery plan and resume the reform thread of his five-year term. The president therefore stood over the health crisis, leaving his prime minister and the minister of health to take center stage. “In view of the presidential election of 2022, Emmanuel Macron seeks to avoid being a face of the crisis in the eyes of the French”, slips one of his strategists.
He never lost sight of the epidemic. Even though the second wave may be coming faster than expected
A member of the government
Between two health defense councils, Emmanuel Macron tried to pick up the thread of an ordinary activity. One day traveling to Clermont-Ferrand to talk about equal opportunities. The following in the Pantheon to launch the regal sequence around the issue of Islamist separatism. Later at Les Mureaux for his great speech on the subject… Failed. Since the start of the school year, not a day has gone by without the news of the epidemic coming to put the rest of its action in the background. Not a Council of Ministers without the Head of State first discussing the country’s health situation in front of his ministers. “He never lost sight of the epidemic. Even though the second wave may be coming faster than expected ”, exposes a member of the government.
Already in September, the resurgence of the epidemic had pushed him to postpone the presentation of the recovery plan. Since then, he has not been able to pick up the thread, or so very occasionally. Hence his new attempt, Wednesday evening, live on television. “You couldn’t burn out this cartridge too soon. However, the worsening of the situation implies a presidential speaking ”, argues an important cog of power. “Its role is above all to tell the French what the country’s economic transformation will be like tomorrow. It will again set out the content of the recovery plan, keeping citizens in employment, integrating young people into the labor market. He will show how his action will impact people’s lives ”, assures a minister.
“You have to name things”
“The president will have to reassure, while making clear about the risk that our citizens run. Do not panic, while explaining that the situation is difficult ”, develops another. And above all to name things. On March 16, the head of state had carefully avoided talking about confinement. If a curfew were to be put in place in major cities, will he say the word? “You have to name things, it’s important”, pushes a minister. Emmanuel Macron hopes to cause a jump in the population. Because its Prime Minister, Jean Castex, may recall the importance of respecting health instructions and call for mobilization, his communication is proving ineffective.
At a time when the country is wondering, it is important that the president addresses the French
Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson
“The president is in the best position. He is the one in France who best measures the dimension of this crisis, the risks involved, the reality of what we are going through if it were to get even worse ”, supports a regular contact for the Head of State. The tenant of the Élysée should also explain “How the country will have to live with the virus” and demonstrate that compliance with sanitary instructions is bearing fruit. Thus, in the spring, a sick person infected three others. Today, it is more than a little more than one person, recalls a government source. “At a time when the country is wondering, it is important that the president addresses the French, that he explains the strategy, but also that he shows the evolutions which make optimistic”, explains Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson, who recalls that positive signals are appearing in certain departments.
By evoking a “Strong second wave” and the possibility of carrying out local reconfigurations, Monday morning, Jean Castex increased the pressure a notch on the subject. At the same time, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, in charge of Tourism in the government, encouraged the French to book their All Saints holidays… Enough to fuel the feeling of confusion that has reigned since the start of the school year. Emmanuel Macron’s intervention will also have to serve to regain control and height in parallel with government communication that is sometimes muddled.
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