On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron took a big step toward alienating and even dehumanizing the unvaccinated when he said his objective is to “piss them off.” With the French presidential election only four months away, his political opponents took the opportunity to condemn Macron’s comments harshly.
Last year, France put a “health pass” in place prohibiting unvaccinated or those without proof of a negative PCR test from entering most public businesses and venues. More than 5 million French citizens are believed to be unvaccinated, and Macron said he will not “vaccinate by force.” However, he has enthusiastically said that he intends on limiting “as much as possible” their ability to participate in regular social life.
Macron said that since he won’t send the unvaccinated to prison, he will tell them that after January 15, they will not be allowed to go to restaurants, theaters, or cinemas. The BBC reported that Macron said that he wanted to “stir up the unvaccinated” using the vulgar French word “emerger.” That term incorporates the French word for excrement and is considered “very informal” in the language.
Conservative party leader Marine Le Pen said that a president should not use vulgar language in referring to citizens and added that Macron is “unworthy of his office.”
Valérie Pécresse is a Republicans Party candidate for president, and she stated that Macron’s description of the unvaccinated angered her as non-citizens. She said that a president must accept citizens to lead them and not insult them.
Macron has repeatedly expressed remorse for his impromptu public remarks, which many have considered arrogant and scornful.
Macron has told the press that he would “like to” run for office again in April, but he has not yet formally announced that he will.