A thousand amendments, oppositions wind up, a majority that appears vigilant on freedoms … the National Assembly began the examination, Wednesday, July 21, of the bill extending the health pass. The tension was palpable from the start of the debates while, under the pressure of the Delta variant of Covid-19, the bill requires express adoption. Franceinfo summarizes this sprint, which started in a dagger-drawn atmosphere.
An express debate … until the end of the night?
The government has chosen the accelerated procedure for examining the health bill, which allows only one reading per chamber, but it is still necessary to allow time for oppositions to express themselves. “We are very worried about the way in which the work will unfold in this session”, denounced the socialist deputy Cécile Untermaier.
The Member began with a point of order, noting that the work in committee ended around 5 am the day before and worried about how the Assembly was going to be able to examine the 1,200 amendments. It was joined on the same theme by several opposition MPs. Finally, at midnight, the vice-president of the National Assembly announced that the debates would resume the next day at 9 a.m. No sleepless night for the deputies this time.
Arms passes with MP Martine Wonner
The tension between deputies was high in the hemycicle. “You do not have the right to say what you said (…) Mrs Wonner, I lost my brother, a doctor, from the Covid”, the deputy Philippe Vigier got carried away, turning to Martine Wonner. A little earlier the non-attached member, already at the heart of a controversy in recent days, had mentioned the case of a certain “Mrs. S.”, suffering from cancer, who could no longer access his hospital with the addition of the health pass. “It’s wrong”, shout several deputies.
“We cannot misinform even within this hemicycle. Really, I tell you, Madam MP, here we do not misinform”, had then reacted Brigitte Bourguignon, Minister for Autonomy. “On access to the hospital, in the event of care scheduled in advance, the person has time to take a test, and in an emergency, there is no need for a pass”, she had specified.
A reminder to the order of the vice-president on the attitude of the deputies
Faced with the agitation of the deputies on the benches of the Hemycicle, the vice-president of the National Assembly, David Habib, was forced to make several callbacks. “Dear colleagues, I remind you that this meeting is televised. We have to offer each other a better spectacle of democracy”, he said from his desk.
A little later, rebelote. David Habib was forced to take another call to order. “We are in a period of crisis. There are families who have been bruised during this period. (…) Our responsibility is to offer at least a spectacle and a peaceful democracy”, he said.
Olivier Véran takes over a deputy … on his wearing of a mask
Members of Parliament have not always set an example in the Assembly. “Monsieur Cordier, your mask please.” Olivier Véran, took again the deputy LR on the wearing of the mask while the latter had lowered it to react to the remarks of the Minister of Health. In the same sequence, he explained why there was “emergency”, according to him, to set up the health pass.
A lively debate on serology
The question of antibodies and serology also animated the debates. The Minister of Health relied on scientific advice to reject the idea of an amendment on the use of serology to allow French people living abroad to obtain the health pass. “If there was a simple solution with the level of antibodies, we would not be at the sanitary pass, said Olivier Véran. We would all like an antibody level to be a determining factor in whether we are protected against Covid, but we do not have the answer. “
The minister also recalled that French people living abroad with a positive serology will, on the other hand, only have one dose of vaccine to do.