It is less political than the commission of inquiry of the national Assembly, and doubly effective. As soon as this Wednesday evening, and until the month of December, 36 senators will start their tour on the management of the crisis of the Covid-19, and, more widely, of pandemics, with a method very different from that adopted by meps. First, the senators were prepared : the president of the commission, Alain Milon, who is also chairman of the social Affairs committee of the Senate, has already led to several hearings. The three rapporteurs were appointed not only for their representation policy (a LR, a PS, a centrist), but also for their ability to understand the discussion : two of them are doctors. Especially, they intend to confront the different actors which have tended, in front of the deputies, to return the ball. "All our hearings will be round table," says the senator of Vaucluse Alain Milon (LR), chair of the commission. Maintenance.
The Point : The commission of inquiry of the national Assembly has began its hearing three weeks ago. You will hear more or less the same actors. Aren't you afraid that your jobs will be redundant ?
Alain Milon : It is not necessary that precisely what is redundant, otherwise it doesn't. It is for this reason that we decided to start with the basics : instead of auditioning first, the director-general of health, who took the decisions, we will hear the people on the field, those who have undergone the crisis. The actors of the region, where the epidemic started. And then those of the region of Île-de-France, which had had time to organize better, and then those of the Oise, in Brittany, where the coordination on the ground between the ARS, the prefecture, elected officials, hospitals, clinics, etc, seems to have been optimal. The goal is to generate questions that will come directly from the base, that we will be able to ask directly, then, to those who have decided.
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in Contrast to members of parliament, you have decided not to conduct individual hearings. Why ?
This did not seem very constructive : if I ask a scientist about the virus and he told me some things, I am forced to believe, not being myself a scientist. This is what we saw at the Meeting. We have chosen to bring in two virologists different opinions, which will be able to confront their points of view. All of our auditions will be in round tables, including the hearings of the ministers of Health ! I think it will be interesting to put around the table, Agnès Buzyn, Marisol Touraine, Roselyne Bachelot and Olivier Véran, and compare and contrast ! The hearing of Didier Raoult by my fellow members particularly struck me. As a scientist, it is a personality unquestionable. But as a public man, he had some claims, in particular how it has been handled the crisis in the Île-de-France, which would have deserved to be confronted. We want to hear Mr. Raoult at the same time as the president of the AP-HP, Martin Hirsch, for example (the AP-HP has accused Didier Raoult false witness, editor's NOTE), and that of other professors of medicine, who will be able to respond factually to the charge, or qualify his opinion. Too many things are said during all the time of this epidemic for health professionals, were shocking. I think the abundance of virologists and to the spontaneous generation of epidemiologists on the tv channels populists. The Senate must avoid this kind of abuse.
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(Laughter) They can't !
You are a senator since 2004, and yourself, doctor. In 2010, you were the rapporteur of the senate investigating committee on the management of H1N1 influenza by the government. In your report, you call on the urgent need to build national stocks of health products, including masks. How is it that the Senate – and you ! – there has been no follow-up to its own recommendations ?
This is a question that I understand. It must still be remembered that the time of Roselyne Bachelot and Xavier Bertrand, there was an organization called the Eprus, independent, in charge of responding to health crises, and in which parliamentarians could control the operation, because, every year, we vote budgets. In 2016, the government considered that the agencies were too numerous, that it was necessary to regroup, and it was created Public Health France in which the Eprus has been absorbed. We have never voted the budgets of the Eprus, and those of Public Health France were not detailed. Parliamentary oversight has become much more complicated. It is true that I said in 2010 that he had to do the necessary at the level of the masks. I have not done the necessary to monitor... I trusted our leaders.
The communication of science, it must be acknowledged, has been a disaster
how do you respond to those who accuse the members of the parliamentary committees of wanting to claim to be judges ?
We are not judges, it is not our role. Our goal is to make proposals in order to ensure that the consequences of this crisis will be learned. And as quickly as possible ! We must identify what standards have blocked the action. Very quickly, we auditionnerons the firefighters who have criticized the architecture decisions. As we'll soon be auditioning airports on the total absence of control as there is now. People arrive from Algeria, Tunisia, Latin America, without any other care than a poster, asking them to prevent if they are infected with the virus. While elsewhere, we may ask you for a medical certificate, you take your temperature... We'll also be looking at the best type of communication in times of crisis. As communication scientists, we must admit, has been a disaster. How is positioning the college of physicians, can't he intervene ? Regarding the decisions that have most marked the French, on masks, on the tests..., we will compare the responsible. The ministers, the directors-general of health successive : Didier Houssin, Benoît Vallet, Jerome Solomon will be interviewed together.
All are sheltered, until now, behind the decisions of others. Do you expect to put into question direct ?
They will be under oath.