NewsFranceMacron calls for unity after anti-vaccine protests

    Macron calls for unity after anti-vaccine protests

    French President Emmanuel Macron called for national unity and mass vaccination to combat the coronavirus upsurge, and lashed out at those who are driving anti-vaccine sentiment and protests.

    Approximately 160,000 people took to the streets Saturday across France to protest against a special COVID-19 pass to gain entry to restaurants and a mandate for mandatory inoculation of health care workers. Many of those in attendance shouted Freedom!” and said the government should not be telling them what to do.

    On a visit to a hospital in French Polynesia on Saturday night, Macron questioned, “What is your freedom worth if you say to me ‘I don’t want to be vaccinated,’ but tomorrow you infect your father, your mother or myself?”

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    While noting that protesters are free to express themselves in a calm and respectful manner, he said protests will not make the virus go away.

    I want to call for unity,” he said. He criticized people who engage in irrational, sometimes cynical, and manipulative mobilization” against vaccination. Among the organizers of the protests have been far-right politicians and extremist members of France’s Yellow Vests movement who are capitalizing on outrage at Macron’s government.

    More than 111,000 people have died in France from the coronavirus, of which some 20,000 infections are being reported daily in the country compared to the few thousand reported a few weeks ago. Concerns about hospital admission capacity are resurfacing.

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    Overnight, lawmakers in France’s Senate passed a bill allowing the use of the COVID-19 pass in all French restaurants and other types of establishments and making vaccination of healthcare workers mandatory. But they made so many changes to the version passed by the lower house that the bill will now have to be reviewed by a joint commission to try to reach a negotiated solution.

    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson
    Jacob Anderson is Journalist and Political Analysis of Awutar. You can get him via: [email protected]


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