Emmanuel Macron addresses press. Flickr/Jacques Paquier
And now he’s tested positive for Covid. The litany of woes confronting Emmanuel Macron would drive most men, or women, in his position to thoughts of retirement, relieved by a lucrative book deal and membership of the Carlyle Group.
Last week, the French President attended an EU summit in Brussels. Yesterday, in Paris, he had lunch with the Portuguese prime minister, Antonio Costa. The list of those who must now be tested (and re-tested) for Covid is extensive, and growing. Macron has announced that will be self-isolating for the next seven days while continuing to meet remotely with ministers and officials. He is only 41 and in good health, but the fact that he may have contracted the coronavirus is yet another signal that no one is safe.
Typically, meetings of the French Cabinet begin these days with an opening statement from the President followed by a briefing from Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The next time ministers meet, it could well be on Zoom or with Macron as a disembodied voice.
Either way, the Prime Minister, Jean Çastex, is sure to take the lead on Covid, backed by the minister for health and “solidarity Oiliver Véran, at one time a Socialist, who last month berated the Opposition for not falling into line behind the Government’s handling of the crisis.