“Fight against Covid-19: shadow and light”

The editorial of Figaro, by Cyrille Vanlerberghe.

Cyrille Vanlerberghe.
Cyrille Vanlerberghe. Le Figaro

You don’t have to be a professor of virology to understand that the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic is not well underway. The dreaded second wave is here, without a doubt. France set a sad record on Thursday: that of the highest number of new positive tests in all of Europe, with 41,622 confirmed cases in a single day. With an understandable lag effect, the death curve follows the same trend. The 162 deaths recorded on Thursday are comparable to what the country experienced on March 23, less than a week after the start of containment. A parallel that has certainly not escaped Jean Castex, who posed the threat of a new total blockage of the country by warning that it would be necessary “Consider much harsher measures” that the curfew if the epidemic was not contained in the coming days.

The temptation is strong to want to overwhelm the government, it is true guilty of a difficult to read strategy often giving a sad impression of improvisation

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Against the expansion of the A49: Abseiling for the Dannenröder forest

Again activists abseil down from motorway bridges. Most recently, a similar operation resulted in a serious accident.

Opponents of the expansion of the A49 have roped off a bridge over the Autobahn 5 Photo: Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

FRANKFURT AM MAIN taz | “By hanging, we create an artificial traffic jam and attention.” With these words one of the activists justified their action on Monday, which led to a massive obstruction of rush hour traffic in the Rhine-Main area.

At the same time, climate protection activists roped off three motorway bridges early on Monday morning in protest against the planned further construction of the A49 between Gießen and Kassel and the ongoing clearing in the Herrenwald and Dannenröder Forest. The A3 at Wiesbadener Kreuz, the A661 near Offenbach and the A5 near Frankfurt Airport were affected by the actions. For security reasons, the police had temporarily blocked the affected motorway sections until the emergency services could rescue the activists. Long backlogs formed, some of which only resolved around noon.

“Forest instead of asphalt – traffic turnaround now!” And “no plans – no cars” could be read on the banners on the affected motorway bridges. One of the activists turned to the “dear car drivers” on Twitter: “You are not stuck in a traffic jam, you are the traffic jam!” The anger of the opponents of the A49 expansion is also directed against the Hessian Greens, who are Tarek Al-Wazir as the transport minister . Next to his likeness, on one of the cloths stretched out on the bridge railing, it read: “Who betrayed us – green bureaucrats!”

Al-Wazir defended his course on Sunday at a virtual state members’ meeting of the Greens: “I am annoyed that I have to build a motorway that I never wanted myself,” said Al-Wazir, who always argues with the legal situation. Further construction can only be prevented with new majorities in the German Bundestag, he said. An application to get out of the government in Hesse if necessary if the coalition partner CDU insists on the construction of the A49 did not find a majority. Greenpeace had submitted an expert opinion with the result that the Hessian state government could stop further construction because of disputes over water law.

Harsh criticism from the abseil action

While the actions were still going on, supporters of expansion spoke up. The managing director of the Hessian Chamber of Commerce and Industry HIHK, Robert Lippmann, called for an end to the motorway blockades. He said: “We are concerned that the protest is increasingly encroaching on other parts of the economy and transport.”

Hesse’s Interior Minister Peter Beuth accused the activists of a “radical attitude”: “That has nothing to do with environmental protection, these are actions that take place outside of the democratic consensus and that are clearly criminal offenses.” The CDU parliamentary group leader Ines Claus recalled the Traffic accident that occurred two weeks ago after a similar action at the end of the traffic jam on the A3, when a 29-year-old man was injured. The environmental activists had learned nothing from this accident, wrote Claus on Twitter.

The transport policy spokesman for the SPD in the state parliament, Marius Weiß, commented: “If this becomes a new popular sport, we should see whether the previous penalties are sufficient for such a dangerous madness.”


China does not wait until the end of trials to start vaccinating

DECRYPTION – Beijing takes the lead in the global race for the vaccine against the Covid-19, at a forced march.

The Chinese laboratory Sinovac presented, on September 24, the press campaign for its vaccine against Covid-19.
The Chinese laboratory Sinovac presented, on September 24, the press campaign for its vaccine against Covid-19. WANG ZHAO / AFP

In Beijing

First come, first served. The Covid 19 vaccine is still a sea snake in Europe, but it is already available to early morning residents of Yiwu, a prosperous city in Zhejiang, an hour by train from Shanghai. “We do not accept reservations, you have to queue, those who arrive early can be vaccinated”, affirms an official of the city, questioned by the site sina.com. Only 500 doses are available in this commercial hub on the eve of this so-called vaccination campaign “emergency”, reserved primarily for people deemed vulnerable, workers and students going abroad, beyond the great protective wall, in a world infested by the Covid, as the official press reminds us at the right time. In practice, any person can come to obtain an injection of this vaccine still not approved, against a sum of 400 yuan (50 euros approximately) for two recommended doses, and a signature at the bottom of a form.

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Stéphanie Gicquel, confined by -50 ° C

From March 17 to May 10, France lived to the rhythm of exit certificates. The abrupt cessation of social life was a hardship for many, especially those who live in an apartment without a garden or balcony. In 2015, Stéphanie Gicquel experienced a confinement of another order, in Antarctica. With her husband Jérémie, the thirty-something crossed the South Pole in cross-country skiing, without a traction veil. A course of 2,045 kilometers in 74 days. This feat, which required four years of athletic and mental preparation, earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

In the frozen desert, she faced powerful waves of ice and temperatures down to -50 ° C. While they were walking, eight to sixteen hours a day, the spouses could not speak to each other because of the wind. Once sheltered in their tent, they did not communicate with their relatives in France. It was on their return that they learned of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks.

I struggled to readjust to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it

Stephanie Gicquel

Their “deconfinement” was difficult. “After 74 days in the middle of nature, in permanent daylight, I had a hard time readjusting to the night – but also to noise, smells and urban pollution. It took me several weeks to get used to it ”, explains the thirty-something in the report produced by Le Figaro.

Compared to what she endured five years ago, this year’s confinement seemed easy to Stéphanie Gicquel. “Digital tools have kept me in constant contact with my relatives”, appreciates the explorer. With the second wave, the ultra-trail competitions that she likes are postponed. The extreme sportswoman takes her trouble patiently. She has seen worse.

Report by Thomas Lestavel and Céline Freixe.


Less than one in two French people want to be vaccinated

BIG BANG SANTÉ – This is one of the major findings of the OpinionWay-Elsan survey published on the occasion of the Big Bang Health. Overall, those surveyed had a good experience with the confinement.

OpinionWay-Elsan poll for the Big Bang Santé du Figaro.
OpinionWay-Elsan survey for the Big Bang Health of Figaro. Le Figaro

The mistrust of the French population vis-à-vis vaccines, in particular that against SARS-CoV-2, is tenacious. It is in all that emerges from an OpinonWay-Elsan poll for the “Big Bang Health” of the Figaro. Barely one in two respondents (48%) will “ certainly ” or “ probably “ to get vaccinated. It is possible that with the return of the epidemic and the arrival of a vaccine, this proportion will change. Almost a quarter (23%) nevertheless answered “ certainly not ” do it.

Trust in hospitals at 75%

Asked about the capacity of the various actors to cope with the second wave, only 45% of those polled believe the government capable of cope. On the other hand, three quarters of respondents trust their hospitals and clinics. The survey also shows that the confinement was perceived positively by our compatriots. More than 8 in 10 French people say they have experienced confinement. Only 12% have it “Badly lived “, And 5%” very bad “. The vast majority rather enjoyed this period and they are even a quarter to have it. “Very well lived”.

58% fear new confinement

However, the prospect of new confinement hardly enchants the respondents: they are 58% to fear such a scenario. The ratio is even higher (66%) among those over 65. Their vulnerability to the virus and the risk of further severing ties with their children and grandchildren are undoubtedly explanatory elements. Seniors are also less used to using digital platforms to keep in touch with their loved ones.

In this regard, the confinement has benefited teleconsultation websites such as Doctolib or Qare. Around 30% of French people have increased their use of digital tools this year to make an appointment with their doctor or consult him remotely.

Greater role for Europe

The latest lesson from this survey conducted with a sample of 1,002 people representative of the French population at the end of September, more than 80% of French people want Europe to play a more important role in the management of pandemics. The figure is surprising, because the French population has been very critical of the European institutions for several years. But it recognizes the importance of coordinating efforts between countries in the face of a complex virus that knows no borders. In addition, the reconquest of our health sovereignty will undoubtedly pass through the European level.


More justice, more organizing? (neue-deutschland.de)

Essen city center: precarious conditions, dissatisfaction and criticism of capitalism do not yet lead to electoral success for the left.

Foto: Imago Images/Rupert Oberhäuser

A shortened federal party conference of the left in Erfurt is still planned for Friday; the election of a new leadership is pending. Whether it will stay that way is open. It is clear, however, that the content-related debates must give way to the corona security concept. They still run in the party, even after the left’s poor performance in the NRW local elections. What do you think were the reasons for this?

Bernhard Sander: That has a lot to do with how the party presented itself at the state and federal level. All district associations have lost. I don’t want to believe that we’re the best of the bad because we haven’t lost much in Wuppertal.

Daniel Kerekes: I would absolutely agree with Bernhard. Regardless of whether we added new people or people started for the third or fourth time, it was lost across the board. You shouldn’t point your index finger at any current and say it’s your fault. The question is: what image do we give at the state or federal level.

Sander: What is not new, but was shown again in the local elections – we are dealing with a socially divided democracy. In the poorer districts of Wuppertal, voter turnout was extremely low.

Wheeled: It was no different in Essen. Essen is divided into rich and poor along the A40. Ten percent of the election result in the poor north is then worth less than five percent in the rich south, where turnout is high. What we should have done more in NRW is organizing. There are a few good examples nationwide. Where long-term organizational work has been carried out, we have also achieved good results in poor districts. That didn’t work well here, even if we even had team members for it in Essen. We have to address people’s issues.

Sander: In parts I can agree with that. We often appeared with great self-confidence, keyword “Hartz 4 must go”. People have heard that from us for years, but don’t see any concrete improvement from our ten percent party. We are missing the popular socio-political topic, also in terms of national politics. In addition, you can only get to the people in the poor neighborhoods if you have credible representatives there who work permanently on site and do not land like parachutists six weeks before the election. That means more than just organizing. Thirdly, in the greatest economic crisis of the post-war period, we failed to offer a political program or an idea with which we could mobilize people. There are no big debates in the party on this, instead we talk abstractly about government participation.

Wheeled: The question of the enforcement perspective is of course important. We have to ask how we can achieve something apart from government participation. For example, we talk far too rarely about referendums. We have to identify the important issues on site and see how we can implement them with alliance partners. There is also a comprehensive idea at the federal level. Bernd Riexinger’s Green New Deal. Unfortunately, this is not present in the debate.

Sander: Why is the CDU and FDP ascribed economic competence? Because we don’t discuss it offensively.

Even in ecological questions, the left is not assigned as much competence. Why?

Sander: The NRW left has not discussed it. But there are two positions: Option A, there is no nature conservation in capitalism. Option B, we demand everything a little more radically than other parties. But there is no concrete discussion of how ecological change is possible in the world of work or mobility. For example, we are not talking about new, alternative jobs in the Rheinische Revier.

Wheeled: I interpret it differently. Of course there is the “system change not climate change” debate, and that’s how I see it. But there are concrete plans and ideas for a mobility transition and a socially acceptable exit from coal-fired power generation. But there are too many will-o’-the-wisps in the party. While an alliance partner like “Endegebiet” is taking action against natural gas, we have comrades who support Nordstream 2. And if you look at the district associations on site, you can see that the topic of the environment and climate justice does not even come up. We have to speak with one voice and stop playing off climate justice against the social question. We need to focus more on climate justice and focus on ‘justice’ there.

The federal party conference should take place in a few days if Corona does not thwart the bill. Is there anything that could create a new atmosphere of optimism?

Wheeled: Even if I lean out of the window and some don’t like to hear it. In recent years, the left has been mainly perceived through arguments that were sometimes not understood. Be it the question of migration, which milieus we are addressing or the ecological question. But the disputes often continued even after resolutions were passed. With Janine and Susanne we have two candidates who can end such debates. As a party, we should try to focus on a few important campaigns and speak with one voice from the parliamentary group to the commune.

Sander: I am not a federal delegate, but one should remember how the party came into being. The Left has been a plural project that has tried to represent different interests. That has rarely succeeded and will continue to be difficult in the future. We should stop engaging in nonsensical debates that are really only about who has air sovereignty in the party. That’s one of the biggest problems. I am very worried that if we fail to bring what is common to the party, then we will lose many groups of voters.

What is it that connects?

Sander: Social justice. And there are many young people who no longer have any idea how social insurance works, for example. When the party was founded, the 45 to 65 year olds voted us 15 percent. Today we only have two percent in this group who are 15 years older today. Even with structural change and transformation, we have to look, what are our options for action? How are we getting there? What are our options when we enter the “heart of the beast” of government holdings?

Wheeled: The debate about government participation is important. But I’ll talk about my district association. We have many members under 30. It is important to combine the question of social justice with feminist, anti-racist or climate-political struggles. That interests the young people in the party. We also need to make sure that different people speak for us. A mandate time limit can be one way of doing this.

Sander: Debates about term limits are always led by those who are not at the meat pots. Here in North Rhine-Westphalia, ten out of eleven MPs feel they have to present themselves as foreign politicians. This is something that, in my opinion, comes second. We have to talk about social content and that is dictated by the current economic crisis. I have heard little about that from you, Daniel.

Wheeled: But you have, for example Bernd Riexinger’s suggestions, which I support. Thinking ecology and economy together. The transformation of the economy. Work and the environment cannot be discussed against each other.

Sander: Transformation is a colorful term that I know from the green-black mayor of Wuppertal or IG Metall. The left has no idea of ​​this yet.

Wheeled: We have to work that out in concrete terms. For example, can the Stadtwerke in Essen do something about that? Reduction in working hours and so on. That’s specific.

Sander: The question is how to shape that. Did you really care about social issues in the election campaign?

Wheeled: They are interrelated. We have to connect racism, climate and the social question and organize people.

Sander: That didn’t work out in the election campaign either.

Wheeled: That’s true. Because we started too late to link the topics together.


The Figaro letter of October 23, 2020

In your letter: the curfew announced for 54 departments, the sulphurous contact of the assassin of Samuel Paty, and the surrogacy business in Ukraine.

La lettre du Figaro, your information meeting every morning.
The letter of Figaro, your information meeting every morning. Le Figaro

Dear readers, hello!

«Finished, it’s over, it will end, it may be over“. Since March, we are at the same stage as Clov and Hamm in Game over Beckett to wonder if the health situation will improve sooner or later. One thing is certain, it will not be immediately, 40,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and the government has decided to tighten the screws even more: from this Friday evening, 46 million French people will be holed up in their homes at 9 p.m.

Have a great weekend. Here is the forgotten word of the day: roquentin (a ridiculous old man who wants to play the young man).

Ronan Planchon, journalist at Figaro

• Featured

Covid-19: where is the epidemic really?

A week after the introduction of the curfew in Île-de-France and in eight metropolitan areas, the measure was very widely extended. In total, 54 departments, or 46 million French people, are now affected by this restriction. Le Figaro

«It is too early at this stage to measure the effects of the curfew”Said Jean Castex on Thursday. Finally, this semi-containment must not be unnecessary since the Prime Minister has just extended it. And not just a little. 54 departments are now concerned from Friday midnight, or 46 million

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At Bordeaux University Hospital, the “augmented” doctor operates on his patients on an outpatient basis

BIG BANG HEALTH – Robotic surgery, less invasive, leads to less pain and postoperative complications. The patient arrives in the morning and leaves the same evening. This allowed Pellegrin hospital to catch up on operations the day after confinement.

In this operating room at the Pellegrin hospital in Bordeaux, Professor Jean-Christophe Bernhard has his eyes riveted, not on the patient’s body, but on a computer console. The urologist uses joysticks that guide the forceps of a robot surgeon inside the patient’s body, to his kidney, from where they will carefully extract a cancerous tumor. The images shot by the Figaro teams and broadcast as part of the Big Bang Santé on Thursday, October 22 are impressive. Sensitive hearts, refrain! The patient arrived at 6:45 am this morning at the CHU. He will leave at the end of the day and will be able to sleep at home, like any evening.

Thanks to the Da Vinci robot

Robotic-assisted surgery has shown its full interest in this year of health crisis. Many operations deemed non-priority were canceled during containment. It was therefore necessary to catch up with a significant delay. Dr. Bernhard’s team is able to operate one in five patients on an outpatient basis, thanks to the Da Vinci robot-surgeon and a “Improved rehabilitation path”. A few years ago, the patient had to spend two days in intensive care and then ten days in the hospital. The outpatient clinic generates precious savings and immobilizes far fewer beds.

Still, not everyone can claim an outpatient tumor removal. The selection depends among other things on the age, general state of health and the entourage of the person.

Report by Thomas Lestavel and Céline Freixe.


EU Parliament waves agricultural reform through: “Just a green coat of paint”

The European Parliament votes for the controversial agricultural reform and saves the veggie burger. Critics complain about a lack of climate protection.

The “veggie burger” may also be called a burger in the future Photo: bartoshd / imago

BRUSSELS taz | The European Parliament wants to make the EU’s agricultural policy a little more ecological and climate-friendly. However, there should not be a radical agricultural turnaround to the taste of the Greens and environmental associations. This was decided by a majority of MEPs on Friday after days of bitter argument.

In the future there will be less money for large farms and more support for small-scale agriculture and environmental protection, said CDU MP Peter Liese. The decision goes far beyond what the agriculture ministers decided on Wednesday in Luxembourg. Under the leadership of the German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU), the Council of Ministers had decided that in future 20 percent of direct payments will be awarded according to ecological criteria. The EU Parliament has now increased this proportion to 30 percent.

But that is still not enough, criticizes Greenpeace expert Lasse van Aken. “The EU agricultural policy is only getting a green paint,” he said. The European Parliament goes further than the Council. “But the loopholes are already built in,” fears van Aken. The chairman of the Environment Committee, the liberal Frenchman Pascal Canfin, spoke of a good compromise. “The European Parliament has improved the text considerably,” he said. Almost 100 billion euros would go towards transforming agriculture. The total agricultural budget is around 387 billion euros.

Before the vote, the German Greens and the SPD had publicly quarreled. On Friday, the SPD surprisingly distanced itself from the reform package that it supported in a first vote on Wednesday. “Our red lines were almost all torn,” said Deputy Speaker of Parliament Katarina Barley on Twitter. The agricultural policy spokeswoman for the European SPD, Maria Noichl, declared that it had not been possible to integrate agricultural policy into the planned “Green Deal” for climate protection. “That is why we are voting against the present agreements.”

Council of Ministers still has to agree

The Greens accused the German Social Democrats of “untrustworthy theater”. After all, Noichl negotiated the reform together with conservatives and liberals, according to MP Sven Giegold. Now the SPD wants to pull out and vote against the parliamentary majority. This is “symbolic politics without effect”.

However, the decisions of the EU Parliament are not the end of the legislative process. Rather, an agreement with the Council of Ministers, i.e. the representation of the 27 member states, is still pending. A first trialogue, in which the EU Commission is also involved, is expected at the beginning of November.

Also on Friday, the European Parliament spoke out in favor of saving the “Veggie Burger”. Meat substitute products can therefore continue to be called burgers, steaks or sausages. Plant-based alternatives to dairy products, on the other hand, are banned. Three years ago the EU had already banned “soy milk” and “vegan cheese”.

“To celebrate the day, I’m going to have a vegan burger,” said Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland after the vote. In contrast, the representatives of the agricultural associations were dissatisfied. You had campaigned for a ban on “veggie burgers” and similar culinary creations. The reliance on meat products misleads consumers.

The European consumer association BEUC, however, indicated its approval. It is good that the MPs followed common sense, said BEUC expert Camille Perrin. Consumers might very well distinguish a soy steak from a real one.


“At the end of November, we should file an emergency authorization for a vaccine”

Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of the American biotech Moderna Therapeutics, who starteds phase 3 clinical trials started in July, explained, at the microphone of Jacques-Olivier Martin, editorial director of the Big Bang Santé du Figaro, that he should file an authorization for a vaccine at the end of November. “We will have efficacy data from our trials in November. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has asked the United States for a period of two months of safety data for at least half of the study, ie 15,000 people, which should be communicated on November 24. So at the end of November, beginning of December, we should file in both the United States and Europe an emergency authorization for a vaccine.», He said.

«It seems that regulatory authorizations, both in the United States and in Europe, for an emergency authorization, focus on medical personnel and the elderly, the people most at risk, continued the boss of Moderna. I think the authorities will want to wait a month or two more to have more data on the safety of the vaccine before it is authorized for any adult ”.

Our correspondent in Beijing Sébastien Falletti, for his part, explained that“Today 100,000 people had already been injected with the vaccine in China. Although no vaccine has yet been approved, the regime is starting to deliver vaccines to essential workers, such as hospital staff or the military.

During a debate dedicated to accelerating research, the president of Sanofi France Olivier Bogillot for his part underlined the fact that“It is interesting to have several technologies simultaneously” in tests to maximize the chances of efficacy of a vaccine.

After this second morning of the Big Bang Santé dedicated to research, the event will continue each morning until the end of the week, live from Figaro.fr at 10:30 am. Thursday, October 22, the morning will be devoted to new technologies. On the program in particular: a speech by Charles-Edouard Bouée, co-managing partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital (AIC), based in Shanghai, and a debate on the role of new technologies in the crisis. Finally, Cédric O, Secretary of State in charge of Digital Transition and Electronic Communications, will do us the honor of unveiling some avenues of the new tracking application, “Tous Anti Covid”.