Macron’s Mr. Vaccine is a Former Lobbyist of Big PharmaSat 12:01 pm Europe/London, 28 Nov 2020
The Mr. Vaccine of Macron is a former lobbyist of Big Pharma!
LE LIBRE PENSEUR
It’s quite spectacular to see Macron daring such a nomination! In reality, it is one of two things: either Macron is completely overwhelmed by cocaine he doesn’t even know what he’s doing anymore; or this nomination was imposed on him, which seems to us to be the reality of this new scandal.
Emmanuel Macron has chosen his “Mr. Vaccine”, who must reassure the public about the mandatory campaign that is being prepared. And, in terms of reassurance, appeasement, and confidence, the choice that is made is confounded by its ingenuity and relevance. It is a former Inspector General of Social Affairs who is going to take on this task, Louis-Charles Viossat, whose CV published on Linkedin below is a screenshot. As you can see, Viossat has been very active in lobbying for Big Pharma. In particular, he led the lobbying of the American laboratory Abbott, which became Abbvie, for almost 5 years. In a very revealing way, the mainstream press ignored these important steps in a career also marked by the management of the heat wave (ER: in 2003, France along with the rest of Europe experienced a heatwave. Of 30,000 resulting deaths, France had at least 14,000 of them). But what is Emmanuel Macron looking for?
What fly could Emmanuel Macron have been bitten by in choosing the former lobbyist of a major American pharmaceutical company to reassure the French about the vaccination campaign that is being prepared? One could not imagine a less judicious, more controversial, more ineffective choice than this one. If one adds to this brilliant career path the passage that Louis-Charles Viossat made in the Health Minister’s office at the time of the heat wave, then in the Prime Minister’s office at the time of the CPE (ER: Under the Chirac government, CPE contracts were devised for workers, which would make their firing and lay-off easier. French were quick to protest this.), one wonders about the risks Emmanuel Macron is taking in the management of a file that could very quickly turn out to be explosive.
Viossat, the Mr. Vaccine who was Abbott’s global lobbyist
You don’t need to look too far to know what everyone knows since the information is public: Louis-Charles Viossat has been a lobbyist for Big Pharma twice in his career. The first time, in 2001, before joining the office of the Minister … of Health! where he dealt with drug issues, including one called … Mediator! (ER: Mediator was a weight loss pill developed by Sevier Laboratories, which caused hundreds of deaths in France over a 33 year period. It was withdrawn in France in 2009; it had never been approved in US and UK and was banned in the early 2000s by Italy and Spain.), Viossat was in charge of lobbying for the Lilly laboratory. He had held this position after a stint at the World Bank, where he was a public health specialist for the Far East and the Pacific.
After a stint at Villepin’s office, between 2005 and 2007, where he was in charge of health and employment, with the brilliant success we know about the CPE (ER: irony), Viossat spent 2 years in Geneva as ambassador in charge of AIDS. Then he joined Abbott laboratory for more than five years where, according to his own admission, he was in charge of lobbying the European Commission, but also the American and European governments, if necessary, under the label of organizations financed by the whole of Big Pharma.
Here is an ideal CV, really to give back confidence to the French people in terms of vaccination, where 80% of the people questioned by a poll that we mentioned yesterday are afraid of taking these vaccines that are being proposed to us in haste.
Conflicts of interest that Viossat knows perfectly well
Moreover, Louis-Charles Viossat himself is perfectly aware of the difficulty of reconciling this career of a mercenary in the service of Big Pharma with a defense of the general interest supposed to inspire respect and serenity to the refractory Gauls that we are.
Thus, Viossat, in 2011, had been heard by the Senate Inquiry Commission on Mediator. The late Senator Autain (uncle of Clémentine Autain, the world is small) had then questioned him about his conflicts of interest. Here is an excerpt of this discussion:
M. Francois Autain, President: We wanted to hear from Mr. Louis-Charles Viossat, Inspector General of Social Affairs, because he was the chief of staff of Mr. Mattei, Minister of Health, Family and Disabled Persons from 2002 to 2004, whom we have already received.
This hearing, which is public and open, will be broadcast on the Senate website and on Public Sénat.
You are no longer, I believe, in the public service?
Mr. Louis-Charles Viossat, former director of the office of the Minister of Health, Family and Disabled Persons. – Member of the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (Igas) since 1992, I was put at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ambassador from 2007 to 2009. I am currently on secondment and serve as Director of Government Affairs for Europe for Abbott, a group that produces treatments, medical devices and pharmaceutical specialties.
When Jean-François Mattei offered me the opportunity to lead his firm in 2002, I had spent three years at the World Bank in the United States before joining the French subsidiary of the U.S. pharmaceutical company, Lilly.
Mr. François Autain, President. – Already?
Mr. Louis-Charles Viossat. – At the time, I asked the Minister to be relieved of decisions concerning drugs. These issues were dealt with by Jacques de Tournemire, technical advisor in charge of the drug, and by the Minister himself.
Mr. François Autain, President. – Could you have been a member of the current minister’s office, which has set very strict rules regarding conflicts of interest?
Mr. Louis-Charles Viossat. – I did not ask myself that question. I had asked not to deal with these issues, to be relieved of relations with the pharmaceutical laboratories to avoid any suspicion and to guarantee the impartiality of the minister’s decisions. That was enough. During this period, I was therefore never informed or apprised of any question concerning Mediator.
Here, then, is a high-ranking civil servant slipping into a pharmaceutical laboratory, perfectly aware of the risks he poses to his institution by performing public functions similar to those he has performed in the private sector.
Lobbyist and senior civil servant, are they the same thing?
Behind this relatively astounding state of affairs (because we don’t understand why Emmanuel Macron would get into this kind of political impasse just a few months before his re-election), the whole subject of the seizure of power by an administrative elite that has lost its sense of general interest is highlighted.
For what can we retain from Louis-Charles Viossat’s career, except that it resembles that of so many senior civil servants who personally consider themselves trustees of the general interest and absolved in advance of any criticism of the mix of genres they produce on a day-to-day basis? In order to make career progress, one enters a ministerial cabinet, flatters the minister, and if necessary sends him into the wall with ill-advised advice. Viossat was in charge at the time of the disastrous management of the heat wave, and he came out of it as director general of the URSSAF. He was at the helm at the time of the dreaded CPE, which cost Dominique de Villepin his political career, and he came out of it as ambassador in Geneva, according to the good rule that the administration always rewards those who fail, and sets up a glorious statue for them.
On the strength of this track record, Viossat has put his address book at the service of Big Pharma, whose compatibility with the general interest remains to be proven. And as a reward for this glorious passage which took him then in secondary functions (he has not declared any assignment since 2019, which lets us think that he was paid to stay at home…), he is from now on chosen to reassure the French on the benefits of Big Pharma, of which he was the mercenary.
They would like to prove to the French that the high administration has been transformed into an incompetent but impregnable aristocracy, which lives on the backs of the refractory Gauls like pox on the lower clergy – that they would not do in any other way.