What to make pale its status as an icon for a part of the left?
One might think so, given the tone of reactions on social networks after Christiane Taubira's new intervention on vaccination, this Thursday.
The former Minister of Justice under François Hollande, originally from Guyana, was questioned on RTL to find out if she called on the population to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
"I have no vocation" for that, she replied, because "I am a politician who is not in office and who, therefore, does not have the information that would formally allow to give an instruction ”.
💬 @ChTaubira offers mediation for vaccination in Guyana!
- RTL France (@RTLFrance) September 23, 2021
This justification is debated, because numerous data on the efficacy and safety of vaccines administered in France (and therefore in particular in Guyana) are now known and published.
"It is almost fake news to say that you have to be in power to have information on vaccines, when it is basic science", thunders the public health doctor Hélène Rossinot, qualifying these words of '' Ashamed '.
Above all, this position comes at a time when Guyana is now, by far, the French department hardest hit by the epidemic.
Some 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants are recorded there in one week, against 73 nationally.
At the same time, vaccination coverage is slipping, with less than one in three inhabitants having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
"Unfortunately, we cannot count on local elected representatives"
This great prudence of Christiane Taubira, the sociologist Jocelyn Raude interprets it by "the cultural proximity with the Guyanese and West Indian population, which is very concerned and worried about the potential effects of these vaccines".
In Guadeloupe and Martinique also, the population is two or even three times less vaccinated than in mainland France.
This is explained "by cultural reasons, but also because of less access to higher education and a historical mistrust vis-à-vis the State and the hexagon, which promote the apology of practices local medicinal products ”, believes this specialist in issues of vaccine mistrust at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (Ehess).
The traditional pharmacopoeia is popular with many locals.
Read also Covid-19: Martinique, Guyana ... why overseas are three times less vaccinated than the metropolis
Christina Taubira is not the only personality overseas who is reluctant to call for vaccination. Also in Guyana, the president of the local authority, Gabriel Serville, told us this summer "wait for a vaccine with more conventional technology, like that of Sanofi". “I do not understand why some are surprised that elected officials are not in the forefront for vaccination. We are the image of the population. If the inhabitants voted for me, it is because they recognize themselves through me, ”he exclaimed. “Unfortunately, we cannot count on local elected representatives,” laments a local personality in return. Judo star Teddy Riner, originally from Guadeloupe, said on September 14 that he was "not there to say get
"For Christiane Taubira as for Teddy Riner, it is undoubtedly risky to promote vaccination and to endorse minority theses within their community, while they have a large part of their family there", analysis Jocelyn Raude.
“It is even more problematic for Christiane Taubira because she has exercised important responsibilities.
And in any case, all citizens and all politicians, whether responsible or not, must take a stand, ”adds Hélène Rossinot.
Pandemic and inequalities
Monday, Christiane Taubira had also refuted the term "pandemic in the strict sense".
"It is a disease that weakens people who are already vulnerable, which shows as a magnifying glass the inequalities, vulnerabilities, weaknesses that are not taken into consideration," she said.
Conversely, epidemic historian Patrick Zylberman tells us that the term “pandemic” is used when “at least one region of the World Health Organization is affected”, which is largely the case when it comes to of Covid-19.
"The French have made the choice to be vaccinated, to consider that the argument which consists in being vaccinated to protect others is a completely audible, admissible and honorable argument."
@ChTaubira is in # CàYou.
- C to you (@ cavousf5) September 20, 2021
It is true that this health crisis has accentuated certain inequalities, in particular for access to vaccines in the world.
In France, immigrants have also paid a particularly heavy price.
“People born abroad live in smaller housing and more essential jobs than others.
They cannot therefore telework and found themselves more exposed during the first wave, and therefore probably during the various waves of the epidemic and the periods of confinement ”, Sylvie Le Minez, head of the organization, told us last April. Insee's demographic and social studies unit.
But the authorities have implemented many actions to deal with it, for example multiplying field operations.