Macron blames negligence, bad luck

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday blamed his COVID-19 on negligence and bad luck, urging his compatriots to stay safe as critics called out slip-ups in his behaviour to prevent infection, from a close-quarters handshake to repeated big-group meals over the past week.

In what appeared to be a self-shot video from the presidential retreat in Versailles where he was isolating, Macron said he was experiencing symptoms that included headaches, fatigue and a dry cough. He promised to give daily updates and be “totally transparent” about the evolution of his illness.

“Despite everything I caught this virus — perhaps, doubtless, a moment of negligence, a moment of bad luck, too,” Macron said.

A fellow European leader who spent time with Macron at a European Union (EU) summit last week, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, tested positive for the virus on Friday.

Ten other leaders at the summit have since tested negative; others either aren’t getting tested or haven’t released results.

In France, Macron’s diagnosis brought criticism that he had set a bad example. He had been captured on camera in recent days violating France’s virus-control guidelines.

ABOVE & BELOW: French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands and half-embraces Head of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Angel Gurria; and Macron in a self-shot video from the presidential retreat in Versailles. PHOTOS: AP