French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Actor John Krasinski films outside White House The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats sense opportunity with SCOTUS vacancy Look to the EU to understand the US border crisis MORE lashed out at the unvaccinated in his country, leading the nation's Parliament to suspend discussions on a new pandemic-related law.
Macron made comments saying he wanted to "piss off" unvaccinated people while calling those who choose not to get inoculated against COVID-19 "irresponsible," according to Reuters.
"Irresponsible people are no longer citizens," Macron added in a comment that has drawn scrutiny from critics.
The new policy being debated in the Parliament would mandate that people provide proof of vaccine to ride the train or enter places like a restaurant or cinema. French people have previously been required to provide either a negative COVID-19 test or vaccine proof for entry into certain venues for months, but the new bill will remove the option to provide a test result and require vaccination.
"A president cannot say such things," Christian Jacob, a lawmaker and the chair of the opposition, said to Parliament, according to the news service. "I'm in favor of the vaccine pass but I cannot back a text whose objective is to 'piss off' the French."
As France's presidential election is set to take place in April, it is possible Macron thought his comments would go over well with people who are already vaccinated and are frustrated with those who will not get their shot. Macron has said he "would like to" run for reelection but has not made an official announcement about his bid, Reuters reported.
Currently, France has one of the highest vaccination rates in the European Union, with nearly 90 percent of people ages 12 and up having received their shot. The country has seen a record-setting 1,263,975 new cases in the past week, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.