Sumary of France’s former health minister charged over handling of Covid crisis:
- France’s former health minister Agnès Buzyn has been charged over her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic after investigators at a special court in Paris concluded there were grounds to prosecute her.
- Buzyn has been charged with “endangering the lives of others”, the prosecutor of the Republic’s Court of Justice said, but not for a second possible offence of “failure to stop a disaster”.
- She said she would not “let the action of the government be discredited, or my action as a minister, when we did so much to prepare our country for a global health crisis that is still ongoing”.
- The charges are a blow for the president, Emmanuel Macron, whose handling of the health crisis will face scrutiny during election campaigning next year, but the court is also likely to face allegations of judicial overreach.
- Buzyn, who resigned from her post in February last year, weeks after the first Covid cases were confirmed in France, has faced criticism and ridicule over her initial statements about the pandemic.
- Buzyn, a cancer and transplant specialist, later told a parliamentary investigation that she had alerted the president and the then prime minister, Edouard Philippe, to the potential “dangers” of Covid-19 as early as January.