Macron Accuses ‘the Anglo-Saxons’ in UK and U.S. of Hoarding Vaccines

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President Emmanuel Macron turned to rhetoric fit for the Napoleonic era in his latest attempt to deflect blame for French and EU inoculation programme failures, accusing “the Anglo-Saxons” of hoarding vaccines and vaccine ingredients.

“Today, the Anglo-Saxons block many of these ingredients and vaccines,” alleged the staunch European Union loyalist as he arrived in Porto, Portugal, for a meeting of the head of the unelected European Commission with the heads of state and government of the EU member-states to discuss bloc-wide social policy.

“Today, 100 per cent of the vaccines produced in the United States are for the American market,” he further claimed, in comments reported by Agence France-Presse via Le Point on Friday.

However, the veracity of President Macron’s allegations notwithstanding, the European Union has not been especially selfless in its own treatment of “the Anglo-Saxons” — a term used by the French to refer to the British, the Americans, or the Anglosphere in general — with the French backing Italy’s seizure of AstraZeneca vaccines which had been produced under contract for Australia in March, for example.

Many anti-Brexiteers in the UK and the British media landscape had contended near the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic that the British government’s decision to opt-out of joint vaccine procurement would hinder vaccine availability, with The Guardian running an article titled “Brexit means coronavirus vaccine will be slower to reach the UK” in March 2020.

In reality, as President Macron’s “Anglo-Saxons” diatribe indicates, Brexit Britain proved able to negotiate contracts for vaccine orders and approve vaccines for use much faster than the EU, with the bloc going so far as to threaten to impose a hard border between EU member-state the Republic of Ireland and the British country of Northern Ireland — something it had decreed totally unacceptable during the Brexit negotiations — in order to prevent British vaccine orders from leaving its territory.

EU heavyweight Angela Merkel’s vice-chancellor reportedly denounced the EU’s joint procurement efforts as “really shit”, and arguably one of the most successful vaccinators in the bloc has ended up being Hungary — which was forced to go outside the EU scheme and order in doses nationally, even turning to Russian and Chinese inoculations to make up the shortfall.

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