It is 8:26 p.m. on Tuesday when the head of state suddenly appears at the end of the TF1 newspaper for a surprise interview. “I am confident in our ability to mobilize to curb the virus”, proclaims Emmanuel Macron. A single camera, garish light, minimalist decor: the interview was hastily edited. This intervention was not announced in the headlines by presenter Gilles Bouleau.
And for good reason, at 8 pm, the president brings together industrialists on vaccination at the Elysee Palace. However, a TV crew was called on the spot … Just in case. As the exchange ends early, Emmanuel Macron decides in extremis to address the nation. It starts in prime time, without a net.
Return to more direct communication
Everyone is taken aback. Journalists only got wind of the rumor around 8:15 p.m., when some dailies sent their copy to the printing press. As for the ministers, they are currently participating in the weekly videoconference with Jean Castex. They are informed at the very last moment.
“We find the Macron of the campaign, agile, on the ball, breaking the codes, analyzes the former communicator of François Hollande at the Elysee, Gaspard Gantzer. He does not bother with propriety, at the risk of upsetting political circles and media habits ”.
In his face-to-face with public opinion, Emmanuel Macron seeks a more direct tone. In recent weeks, he has often left the beaten track for his communication: selfie video from the Lantern when he is in solitary confinement after his positive PCR test; response on the Facebook account of a student from Strasbourg who had shouted her dismay; December 31 greetings sitting by the fire, etc.
“Hands in the sludge”
This Tuesday evening, he believes he is on sufficiently marked ground to attempt a live interview. “If there is a world champion in scientific studies, it is the president. He reads everything and in addition he is the son of a doctor ”, underlines a leading minister. He asks for summaries of clinical results. He is in direct contact with the American “M Covid”, the infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci, and the person in charge of vaccination under Donald Trump, Moncef Slaoui. “It’s very Macron to get your hands dirty,” comments a government adviser. He wants to be in the know in order to be able to intervene ”. And to add, in the jargon of the walkers: “He manages in project mode. “
Isn’t it rather the role of a Minister of Health to go into this level of detail? “The scale of the crisis means that people expect the head of state to be in charge,” retorts government spokesman Gabriel Attal. If he was simply overhanging, many would say that the president is above ground ”.
This week, Emmanuel Macron hosted two other meetings at the Elysee Palace with researchers and industry, including one on new treatments. One day, he asks his interlocutors: “How do we switch sites to vaccine production? Another, he insisted: “We must go faster on monoclonal antibodies and catch up with the Germans!” Or, he suggests that the AstraZeneca vaccine be open to caregivers over 50 in order to release doses of Pfizer product for the benefit of seniors.
These operational meetings on vaccines and therapies will now take place every week. “The president is there to give the impetus and that things move forward, go quickly,” says one at the Elysee. A “power up” supposed to “loosen small things and respond to new issues”. Because the president is playing big. As one of his old acquaintances points out: “The first time, we had problems with the masks, the second time with the tests… If the vaccination doesn’t work, he crashes his mandate. “
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr