Covid-19: “We were wrong about the masks,” Olivier Véran apologizes

COVID-19: “We were wrong about the masks,” Olivier Véran apologizes

Government spokesman Olivier Véran returns in a book to be published on Thursday about his management as health minister of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose regrets he reveals behind the scenes.

“We were wrong about the masks, neither more nor less,” the former minister said in an interview with Le Parisien on Wednesday on the occasion of the publication of his book “Beyond the Waves” (editions by Robert Laffont).

Additionally, “this book is also an opportunity to apologize,” he said.

When the COVID-19 epidemic swept France in March 2020, health authorities considered it “unnecessary” to extend mask-wearing to the entire population.

At the same time, France was short of masks: reserves had fallen from almost 2 billion units (surgical masks and FFP2) in 2009 to 100 million on the eve of the health crisis. A deficiency that was the subject of controversy at the time.

“Part of the public has criticized us for knowingly lying about the masks to hide the shortage,” recalls Olivier Véran, who assures: “That is not the case. The truth is that we weren’t wrong about the masks either, let alone.”

Mr Véran explains that on the evening of the announcement of the first confinement, he picked up his pen to “remember later the emotions of the moment”, without imagining the magnitude that the crisis would take or knowing that he would a book would do it.

He also admits to having “touched the burnout”. In 2020, at the end of the first wave, “I had dizziness, severe nausea, throbbing in my legs,” he reports, explaining that he then slept “three hours a night”, skipped meals and was under “constant stress”.


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