The high-speed train whooshing past historic World War I battle sites and through the chateau-speckled Loire Valley carried a delicate cargo: 20 critically ill Coronsvirus patients and the breathing machines helping keep them alive.
The TGV-turned-mobile-intensive-care-unit is just one piece of France’s nationwide mobilisation of trains, helicopters, jets and even a warship, deployed to relieve congested hospitals and shuffle hundreds of patients and medical personnel in and out the virus hotspots.
We are at war, “President Emmanuel Macron” tells his compatriots, again and again.
But as the 42-year-old leader casts himself as a warrior and harnesses the might of the armed forces, critics charge that he waited far too long to act against this foe. France one of the world’s wealthiest countries with one of the best health care systems, they say. Should never have found itself so deep in crisis.