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27 Mar 2020

COVID-19: French President Macron Visits Institut Pasteur

While the COVID-19 numbers keep growing fast, with more than 500,000 cases and 23,000 deaths, the French President Emmanuel Macron, along with French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, visited Institut Pasteur in Paris to meet with Stewart Cole and the scientists who are advancing research to tackle the pandemic.

The President had the opportunity to meet some of the teams who have been hard at work since the very start of the outbreak and to find out more about both the emergency research being carried out on the topic and the health challenges facing the French people and the world population. He met with Félix Rey, head of the Virology Department, who explained the life cycle of the virus SARS-CoV-2 and where it could be targeted by drugs.

President Macron took the opportunity of his visit to the Institut Pasteur to announce his decision to increase France's research budget by €5 billion over the next decade. He also reiterated his message to the public about how vital it is for everyone to comply with the government's advice to "Stay at home" to control the outbreak.

The presidential visit, which gave the Institut Pasteur and its scientists a chance to present their ongoing and future work in response to COVID-19, is a strong demonstration of support all the Institut Pasteur's staff and for research in general.