For a politician who’s gone toe-to-toe with Donald Trump and urged the EU to stand up to China, the scale of the crisis and his own role in it has forced a degree of introspection. As he said in one of several televised statements in April, “it’s a moment to start again from scratch.”
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was too early to say who had handled the crisis better and pointed to France’s successes, such as treating its gravest cases in hospitals and coordinating with international allies on a vaccine conference.
With his approval ratings slipping, Macron himself has also recognized that his administration fell short. “Were we prepared for this crisis? Obviously, not enough,’’ he said last month. “This moment, let’s be honest, has revealed cracks.’’