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French Prime Minister singled me out after testing positive for COVID

PARIS – The French Prime Minister, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, is being singled out on social media and beyond as an example of what not to do during the pandemic .

Videos are going viral of maskless Prime Minister Jean Castex vigorously shaking hands with elected officials in an enclosed space at a Paris mayoral conference on November 16, many people point out that this That goes against the official French position that everyone should continue to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

They also noted that Castex called the French Caribbean territory Guadeloupe “irresponsible” in enforcing COVID-19 measures when he himself failed to comply with the rules.

Gabriel Attal, a spokesman for the French government, jumped to Castex’s defense when the video began circulating. “We are all just human,” he said.

But Castex’s positive test is a potential embarrassment for the French government and for President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the presidential election in April.

Castex’s office said the 52-year-old man was infected by his 11-year-old daughter and is self-isolating for 10 days.

It is not clear if Castex, who was vaccinated in the spring, had symptoms. His office was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Experts are saying that Castex’s behavior is indicative of a growing decline in vigilance now that most of the French population has been vaccinated. A prominent figure in the government, Labor Secretary Elisabeth Borne, warned against complacency this month, admitting that “maybe we’ve done it a little wrong, the barrier measures are getting little help. more respectful.”

Mask sales in France fell by three-quarters in the year to August 2021.

But now, the French media is pouring indignation at Castex, pointing out that this is the fourth time Castex is a “case of exposure” to the virus, even though he has never tested positive before. .

Following his positive test result, several other French ministers are self-isolating pending test results, including Europe Minister Clement Beaune, who deleted an Instagram photo of him I smiled and leaned toward Castex without the mask on.

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