Macron claims he will ‘piss off the unvaccinated’

Macron stated Tuesday in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper that he was not for “pissing off the French”… The unvaccinated are the ones I want to piss off. So, we will keep at it until the very end. This is our strategy.

Opposition lawmakers swiftly condemned his remarks, expressing anger at Macron’s new rules for unvaccinated persons that would ban them in public life.

The parliamentary debate on the bill was stopped in the early hours of Wednesday morning and will resume later in the day. This raises doubts about whether the stricter vaccine law will be in effect by the government’s January 15 deadline.

France’s existing health pass would be replaced by a vaccine pass. The proof of vaccination is required for all daily activities including entry to restaurants and bars, as well as travel within the country. It will no longer accept any proof of recent Covid recovery or a negative test.

Macron said to Le Parisien, “I’m going to not put them in jail, but I won’t forcibly vaccine them.”

Macron called the opponents to vaccination “irresponsible,” and said that they undermined the strength a nation.

He stated, “When I feel my freedom is being threatened, I am irresponsible.” “An irresponsible individual is no longer considered a citizen.”

His remarks were quickly picked up on by his political rivals during this year’s presidential elections. Marine Le Pen, the Far-right leader of the Far-right, posted on Twitter that Macron “shouldn’t say this” and called Macron “unworthy to his office”. He claimed he wants to make unvaccinated people a “second-class citizen.”

This controversy arose amid tension in France about how to deal the unvaccinated minority of the population.

CNN affiliate BFMTV reported that Patricia Miralles, a parliamentarian, has received numerous threats since July 2021’s first parliamentary discussion on the health bill. Ludovic Mendes, another legislator, stated to the news channel that he has been subject to “permanent hatred, constant death threats” since the outbreak of the pandemic.

France has vaccinated approximately 74% of its entire population, one the highest rates within the EU. However, it has been severely affected by Omicron variants that are more transmissible and has seen record-breaking infections in the last few days.

Tuesday’s 271 686 new cases was its highest ever load. Hospitalizations saw a rise in the number of patients receiving Covid care, reaching 20186.

Many parts of Europe are facing similar high-rise numbers as Omicron sweeps through their populations. On Tuesday, the UK and Italy also experienced record infections. Germany’s caseload grew sharply over last week.

Omicron’s lower severity has led to different approaches from countries. Over the Christmas period, several European countries placed new restrictions. Italy introduced an outdoor mask mandate while the Netherlands was locked down. The UK’s health secretary stated Tuesday that no further restrictions were necessary in England, which has vaccine passes in certain settings.

Joseph Ataman, Dalal Mawad and Rob Picheta reported from Paris. Rob Picheta wrote from London.