A video has emerged of the French president having a blazing row with a medic just days before he admitted France had been under-prepared for the coronavirus outbreak.
Emmanuel Macron was filmed arguing with the hospital worker while he was on a visit to the Kremlin-Bicetre hospital in Paris on April 9.
Shortly after the clip, which was released by a medical workers union, the president was shown in footage released by his office leading a round of applause with staff at the facility.
In the footage of the argument, he can be seen telling hospital workers “we haven’t made up for 15 years of hospital tariff cuts, you’re right,” before ducking the blame for France’s current situation saying, “but I won’t take responsibility for anything that’s been done before [taking office].”
The medical worker shot back at the president saying:
“We caregivers are poor, and tomorrow we could be in the beds too. And when the problem comes back to us, we wish we could help but with the lack of resources and staff, we can’t.”
Macron told the assembled staff that they would “learn lessons” from the outbreak “collectively.” According to a fellow worker who spoke to local media, the exchange went on for about 10 minutes.
On Monday, Macron addressed a record national audience of more than 36.7 million people as he announced the lockdown would remain in force for another month.
During the address he admitted “mistakes were made” in France’s battle against Covid-19 as the death count rose above 14,000.
His statement was viewed by 13 million more people than watched the French football team with the World Cup in Paris in 1998.
Macron’s approval ratings have taken a hit during the outbreak, plummeting by 17 points since the start of the lockdown, with just 38 percent saying they “have confidence” in the leader.