by Cassandra Fairbanks
Italy is now considered the epicenter of the coronavirus and a professor of virology there believes that a fear of being perceived as “racist” contributed heavily to the massive outbreak.
Giorgio Palù is a professor of virology and microbiology of the University of Padova in Italy and the former head of the European and Italian Society for Virology. He firmly believes that the delayed response in combating the virus was due to political correctness.
Speaking to CNN, Palù asserted that the lockdown should have been wider and stricter earlier — and that the government lagged on taking action because of politics.
It was “lazy in the beginning… too much politics in Italy,” Palù said. “There was a proposal to isolate people coming from the epicenter, coming from China, then it became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak.”
Italian politicians were so set on not appearing racist, even if it kills their constituents, that the mayor of Florence even launched a “Hug a Chinese” Day campaign after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced travel restrictions on China.
#coronavirus: seguiamo le indicazioni delle autorità sanitarie e usiamo cautela, ma nessun terrorismo psicologico e soprattutto basta con i soliti sciacalli che non vedevano l’ora di usare questa scusa per odiare e insultare. Uniti in questa battaglia comune! #AbbracciaUnCinese pic.twitter.com/pUdqEl0piW
— Dario Nardella (@DarioNardella) February 1, 2020
The “Hug a Chinese Day” effort was promoted by Chinese Communist Party propaganda outlets CGTN and Global Times, The Blaze noted.
As of Tuesday morning, there have been 63,927 cases of coronavirus in Italy — and 6,077 deaths.