Correspondent in Paris
Emmanuel Macron decided on Thursday to move away from the Elysee and settle in the La Lanterne hunting lodge, annexed to the architectural complex of Versailles, after the national and international alarms are triggered on his state of his health, positive for Covid-19. The French president left the official residence of the head of state in Paris on Thursday night to seclude himself for several days in the residence for “recreation” or “weekends” where he celebrated his 40th birthday, at La Lanterne, where the kings of France held intimate parties.
Macron left the Elysee with much but discreet accompaniment, led by Dr. Jean-Christophe Perrochon, chief physician of the presidency of the Republic, at the head of an imprecise number of doctors and nurses who will follow the Head of State at all hours. The Elysee sources specified that the president has a cough, fever and tiredness and will spend the quarantine period in the official residence, while his wife, Brigitte, who has tested negative, will follow the evolution of her husband by phone and videoconference from the Elysee.
According to an official Elysee spokesman, Macron “will continue working and will be able to ensure his functions, remotely.” This is an unprecedented situation in the history of the Fifth Republic, which has only dramatic precedents: Waldenström Georges Pompidou’s disease and François Mitterrand’s prostate cancer.
Macron will be at La Lanterne for several days, until his medical team deems it appropriate, surrounded by a small number of collaborators, technicians and service managers.
In the institutional field, the most absolute discretion coincides with the most “crazy” speculations. If Macron recovers quickly, as expected, national political life and diplomatic relations will continue their normal course. If the president’s health were more fragile than expected, there are those who They speculate on a highly improbable “emergency procedure”, to ensure the direction of the State in case of «maximum urgency».
Infected in Brussels
In the political arena, Macron’s positive for Covid-19 began by setting off alarms among the national and European political class. The twenty national and European personalities who crossed paths with Macron, in two big meals and a dinner, on the Elysee, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last, they have rushed to undergo emergency analysis, or to confine themselves voluntarily.
For their part, some unofficial sources, close to the Elysee, estimate that Macron could have been contaminated in Brussels, during the last European Council, on 10 and 11 de this same month of December.
“If the president had behaved recklessly, in France, he would have been contaminated much earlier,” says a presidential adviser who prefers to remain anonymous. Based on this unofficial conviction, some advisers to the French presidency believe that Emmanuel Macron could have been contaminated in Brussels, during or after the last European summit.
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