MEP Jordan Bardella said Emmanuel Macron’s bumbling government knew the jab rollout would be a “major challenge” but failed to prepare properly. Referring to the infamous defeat of French dictator Napoleon Bonaparte by a British-led army in 1815, the politician said the current situation is “a vaccine Waterloo”.
The member of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party said: “We missed the crucial stage of vaccines.”
He claimed that “from the month of December” the authorities were aware of the fact that “vaccination was going to be a major logistical challenge.”
He added: “We see that the European Union has failed, and especially that France is the only country in the UN Security Council not to have vaccines.
“This poses a real problem of health sovereignty.”
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Robert Yates, a former senior health economist for the World Health Organisation who is now at the Chatham House think tank, said: “The vaccine issue is highly political and there continues to be this race among western nations to be seen to be ahead.”
As the UK basks in its successful rollout, France this weekend deployed more than 4,000 police officers to prevent chaos on the streets of Paris.
On Friday France reported 25,229 new coronavirus cases in a 24-hour span, taking the total to more than four million.
The number of deaths in Europhile Mr Macron’s republic also passed 90,000, according to data released by health authorities.
And the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients dropped by 109 to 24,749, it said.
But the number of those who need life support increased by 41 to 4,033, the highest level since late November 2020.
The police officers’ primary focus would be to ensure mask-wearing, the nightly curfew and evacuate crowded public places not properly social distancing, they said.
A police source said “preventive actions” will be carried out “in areas that are too densely frequented in order to remind people of the necessary respect for health measures”.
When visiting a Paris hospital on Friday evening, Prime Minister Jean Castex said: “The reality of the hospital situation in Ile-de-France (greater Paris region) is extremely tense, difficult.