French President Emmanuel Macron puts France on war footing to fight corona virus; British study reports millions could die in U.S.

Draft (developing)


President Donald Trump “recommended” new limits on group gatherings and social distancing on Monday, reportedly in response to estimates contained in a British study that the number of deaths from the coronavirus could reach as high as 2.2 million in the U.S.


Sheri Fink, “White House Takes New Line After Dire Report on Death Toll; Federal guidelines warned against gatherings of more than 10 people as a London report predicted high fatalities in the U.S. without drastic action, ” New York Times, March 16, 2020.

Also on March 16, President Emmanuel Macron issued a call to arms against the coronavirus in France, placing the country on a virtual war footing. He announced a number of highly restrictive mandatory measures, which are to be enforced by criminal law. He also called for national unity and solidarity with those affected economically by the corona virus crisis, promising that the needs of all French citizens would be guaranteed and met by the State.

His speech was eloquent, and will go down in history.  It demonstrated the kind of leadership which is sorely needed in the United States.  In the age of Trump, one can only dream of such leadership in the United States.

The contrast between the responses of President Macron and his government and those of President Donald Trump and his administration is astounding, and should be studied very closely.


Cédric Pietralunga et Alexandre Lemarié, “« Nous sommes en guerre » : face au coronavirus, Emmanuel Macron sonne la « mobilisation générale »; L’épidémie s’étend de manière « inquiétante » et le chef de l’Etat a pris la décision de confiner l’ensemble des Français et de repousser le second tour des municipales,” Le Monde, le 17 mars 2020 (05h30, mis à jour à 05h42).

See also,

« Nous sommes en guerre » : le verbatim du discours d’Emmanuel Macron; Tandis que l’épidémie de Covid-19 progresse chaque jour en France, le président de la République a annoncé lundi soir une stricte restriction des déplacements pendant au moins quinze jours,” Le Monde, le 16 mars 2020 (21h04, mis à jour à 21h42).

This article contains a link to the video of President Macron’s speech.

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James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.