HEALTH – “The port widespread a mask by the population would be a logical addition to measures of barriers currently in force”. The recommendation of the Academy of medicine, made one may more clearly on 3 April, just to hurt the government discourse since the beginning of the pandemic coronavirus that causes the Covid-19.
To cope with the shortage of masks that knows the France, the leaders of the government were first put in before the other actions barriers (washing hands, single-use tissues, social distancing of at least one meter) rather than the mask, yet widespread in the countries of Asia which adhere to less deaths than in Europe.
But they didn’t stop there. Some went so far as to denigrate this practice, as the spokesperson of the government, Sibeth Ndiaye, on the 17th of march last. “The French will not be able to buy masks in drugstores, because it is not necessary if one is not sick”.
“I am surprised to see from the window of my department the number of people who are in the street with masks, ( … ), whereas this does not correspond to the recommendations”, said, on 16 march, the minister of Health, Olivier Véran.
Both of them denounced by the same occasions, the flights of masks in hospitals “ineligible”, or the fact that the masks “are used in priority for the caregiver”, in the words of the government spokesman, confirming, without saying it openly, that it was missing.
One could thus understand, between the lines, that France was facing a shortage, but it was not set forth as such. To such a point that the 20 march, the secretary of State for the Interior, Laurent Nunez goes so far as to declare to the television news of France 2: “No, I don’t recognize it’s missing”.
“A lie for a good cause”
So why not have simply said to the French what it was? The first to dare to advance an explanation, taking also into account a “lie” is the presenter of the Health Magazine (France 5), Marina Carrère d’encausse. Also doctor, it provides on Europe 1 on the 1st of April that the official on the uselessness supposed of the masks could be likened to a “lie” is “for a good cause”, that is to say, for the book to caregivers. The next day, Mediapart published a long survey on the topic, entitled “Masks: the evidence of a lie of the State.”
A little earlier, Emmanuel Macron put the question of the masks to its agenda. On 31 march, he went to the factory Kolmi-Hopen, in the outskirts of Angers (Maine-et-Loire) that produces the greatest number of masks in France. The head of State is a speech that is offensive. “We need 40 million face masks per week at least”, said the president of the Republic who wishes to “produce more of that on our soil”. He hoped that France has “obtained full independence” before the end of the year.
It act as a new distinction between surgical masks (for caregivers) and masks alternative (for the rest of the population) that a volte face, the State putting the package in order to produce the two millions
To explain these changes, the prime minister highlights a central point: the professionals medicine, even at the highest level, “do not always agree among themselves”, what we also observe in the debate around the chloroquine.
“I listen with attention to what the doctors say”, promises Edouard Philippe, citing, for example, the executive director of the emergency program of the WHO which says that “the wearing of the mask is not necessarily a good idea.” ”I will not dare to say, because I know that I gives rise to criticism and doubt, but I would like to quote the doctor since it is his business,” argued the Prime minister.
“We encourage the public to wear masks”
It seems, however, that the government has decided, following finally the opinion of the Academy of medicine released on Friday 3 April. “You know, medicine, it is learning and adapting constantly,” said, to France Info, the president of the Academy of medicine, the former Health minister during the 2003 heat wave, Jean-François Mattéï. In regards to the release of the confinement, the institution over which he presides is very clear: “It will make the mask mandatory as soon as the déconfinement will take place, and that people will be more numerous in the public space”.
A few hours after this notice, he was taken to the ministry of Health by Jerome Solomon. The same again on march 16, explained that he does “not need to put mask when it is not health care professional” now recognizes that it depends on the quantity available: “If we have access to these masks, we encourage the general public to wear,” said the number 2 of the ministry of Health who rents at the same time the “remarkable creativity” of those who produce it around the country, professional or otherwise.
“They can protect themselves”, says professor of medicine which considers “very interesting” position of the Academy of medicine on this point. “The concept now access to a mask in public can be promoted”, sets out before predicting: ”We will possibly see some changes of habit within French households”, who, obviously, have not waited for the instructions of government to bear, “not to mention that it does not replace the gestures barriers”.
In the meantime, you can enjoy the time at home to make a mask “alternative”, as suggested by the Academy of medicine who has even returned to a tutorial available on the internet. In medicine, as in journalism, the truth of one day is not the next day.
See also on The HuffPost: Lack of masks: “no controversy” but…