Frenchman Macron makes wearing a mask an act of national pride

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PARIS –
With a mask 100% made in France, President Emmanuel Macron showed the famous fashionable Frenchman on Tuesday that civic responsibility and style are not mutually exclusive.

Macron took advantage of a visit to an elementary school to promote the type of cloth masks that will be in use on public transport and other places when France starts breaking out of its coronavirus lockout next week.

The dark blue version that Macron wore during his visit to school west of Paris completed his tie and blue suit, and was adorned on one side with ribbon details in red, white and blue, the colors of the French flag.

The French presidency has declared that the mask, specially designed to protect the public against the virus, was produced by the knitwear manufacturer Chanteclair and costs 4.92 euros ($ 5.34). The French military has tested the breathability and effectiveness of the garment to filter out small particles, the presidency said. .

While some world leaders were worried about being masked, Macron had previously appeared in public events with surgical masks, which were both thinner and more resilient.

In elementary school, a child asked “Who is this? When the president entered a classroom. Macron briefly lifted his cloth mask to reveal his face, then put the covering back in place.

Later, he joked about the need to use a hand sanitizer because he touched the mask, which he was not supposed to do.

Macron’s government has been widely criticized for an inconsistent policy on the civilian use of face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. When the virus first reached Europe, industrial-grade masks were requisitioned by the French government and intended only for health workers.

The government then lobbied for homemade cloth masks to be used as an alternative amid a shortage of commercially produced medical masks.

The paper and fabric masks, including the Macron model and Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer, made their debut on Tuesday, went on sale in French supermarkets this week in anticipation of widespread use from May 11.

The President’s prop, as well as its manipulation, managed to draw attention to social media. A photo taken of the French leader while his mask was lowered under his nose prompted an observer to note that despite being “rather elegant”, the coating made a bad barrier to infection if the nostrils were exposed .

Other commentators have tweeted that Macron looked like a villain or the Sub-Zero character in the “Mortal Kombat” video games.

Images of Slovak President Zuzana Caputova wearing a crushed raspberry pink mask matching her outfit at the swearing-in ceremony for the new Prime Minister in March went viral on Twitter.

In Germany, the governor of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, wore a blue and white diamond mask of the state flag during several public appearances.

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