Patrick Devedjian

Former French Minister Patrick Devedjian Dies of COVID-19

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PARIS (Deutsche Welle/Daily Mail) — A French former cabinet minister and former president of the Parisian Haut-de-Seine administrative district has become one of the first high-profile politicians to die of COVID-19 on Sunday, March 29. Patrick Devedjian was 75.

He was a close adviser of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Devedjian was the minister in charge of dealing with French recovery from the 2008 financial crisis. The 75-year-old first publicly announced he was suffering from symptoms of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, March 25.

“I am affected by the epidemic, therefore I am able to bear witness directly to the exceptional work of doctors and nurses,” he wrote on Twitter earlier in the week. “I’m sending them a big thank you for their constant help to all their patients.”

Patrick Devedjian, right, with Nicolas Sarkozy

“Tired but stable thanks to them, I go up the slope and send them a very big thank you for their constant help to all the patients.”

Devedjian, a married father of four, was in the private Antony hospital, south of Paris. He was not known to have any underlying medical condition.

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“His condition deteriorated on Saturday,” said a family source. “Doctors decided to place him in an artificial coma, but he didn’t survive.”

Fellow politicians immediately paid tribute to the politician on Twitter.

Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls praised Devedjian’s “local roots.”

“I liked Patrick Devedjian: his frank works, his humor, his local roots. He was affectionate and cultured,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted her “great sadness.”

“I extend my condolences to his wife and family. I think of our Armenian friends who have lost a brother today.”

Patrick Devedjian, right, with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

“Great emotion at the announcement of the death of Patrick Devedjian, former minister, President of the Haut-de-Seine, committed republican, free spirit,” President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand wrote. “My sincere condolences to his relatives and his family.”

Devedjian was one of a number of politicians across Europe who have contracted Covid-19.

They include a number in Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“He was the best of us,” said Philippe Juvin, head of the Republicans in the Hauts de Seine.

“He was one of those people who are believed to be invincible and eternal,” said Juvin, as he paid tribute to “this free, intelligent and very funny man – one who was an intellectual non-conformist.”

Devedjian came from a family who had escaped the Armenian Genocide.

He was born in Fontainebleau, also south of Paris, on August 26, 1944, just as Nazis occupiers were being defeated during World War II.

“Great sadness at the death of Patrick Devedjian,” French Senate President Gerard Larcher wrote on Twitter. “Brave man and totally devoted to his city of Antony and to Haut-de-Seine. Condolences to his family and those close to him.”

Devedjian proposed an amendment to a proposed bill penalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide on 9 October 2006 that read, “These regulations do not apply to academic and scientific researches and studies.” Devedjian added a statement to the amendment that according to media would “prevent any provocations and political demonstrations organized by a foreign country.

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