mayors of large cities recount the first months of the pandemic

Posted October 16, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. – Updated October 16, 2020 at 9:14 p.m.

This time he did not forget them. In his presidential interview on October 14, Emmanuel Macron was careful to specify that binding measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 would now be taken “In consultation with elected officials”. Faced with an endless pandemic, the worried lookout for the second wave, the morbid predictions of hospitals about to be saturated, the mayors, who have found themselves managing the unthinkable and the impossible for eight months, would like to believe that they will henceforth be more listened to and supported.

After exhausting battles and many “Nervousness” – in particular on the closure in September of bars at 10 p.m. in the capital without being asked for his opinion or informing him – Anne Hidalgo, mayor (PS) of Paris, said to herself “Rather optimistic”. “We advance in the dialogue, she explained to us on October 6. I hope the government has understood that, to restore confidence with the population, transparency, education and joint work with the mayors are needed. ” Wednesday evening, after the presidential address, she pledged to play the game. “We must remain united and apply the measures announced by the President of the Republic, even if they are harsh”, she wrote on her Twitter account. She crosses her fingers to make it last, to make it “Mayor-prefect couple”, touted so late by Emmanuel Macron at the time of deconfinement, finally becomes a reality.

Most of his elected colleagues from the big cities remain “Doubtful”. ” We feel a desire to join forces on the part of the president, but unfortunately we remain in a hyper-centralized management, where the Ministry of Health and the ARS [Agence régionale de santé] decide everythingsighs the mayor (LR) of Nice, Christian Estrosi. When I see the line in front of the labs for testing, the looming flu shot shortage, I feel like they haven’t learned anything. “ “For six months, they haven’t ordered respirators, they haven’t believed in a second wave, they haven’t prepared it. We’re roughly at the same point as last March, pings, for his part, Philippe Juvin, head of emergencies at the Georges-Pompidou hospital and mayor (LR) of La Garenne-Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine). We are not in consultation, but in communication. “

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If they have a hard time believing the government’s soothing words, it is because elected officials have a big chunk on their hearts. Many claim to have lived through a nightmare for months. When the first wave appeared, in March, they had to act alone in the face of a confused state, improvise with oscillating and contradictory doctrines, compensate for the inadequacies of the public authorities, protect their populations with the means at hand. Whatever their political labels, they had to face the same difficulties, compensating for their feeling of abandonment by an unprecedented solidarity between municipalities, in particular through the association France Urbaine, which has transformed into a real network of ‘mutual aid and support.

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