Don’t They Know: ‘The Virus Is Making The Rules’: Gov. Tom Wolf
Italy is over 5,000 miles away from Pennsylvania and their science is probably way different from our science here in Pennsylvania. Still too bad the Virus doesn’t provide scientific reasoning and facts when issuing it’s rules, while trashing our civil liberties, at least for the curious that care about such things. Perhaps during the Levine and Wolf Show they could let the Virus speak in lieu of the hand-washing instruction segment.
“There was a restriction on civil liberties of the greatest kind, for a long period, and it was right that citizens know what were the scientific, factual and epidemiological reasons behind that.”
“[Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte] has faced criticism from opposition parties for ruling with an iron fist during the pandemic and cutting down on civil liberties while being unaccountable to parliament.”
“The scientists made no recommendations about confining residents to their homes and even advised that bars, restaurants and churches could stay open all over Italy as long as people respected social distancing measures, according to the documents.”
Advisers wanted tougher measures in the North, but government imposed a nationwide lockdown.
By Hannah Roberts Updated 8/7/20, 4:48 AM CET
ROME — The Italian government overruled recommendations from its scientific advisers for a softer lockdown, according to newly published documents.
In early March, with the coronavirus rampant in parts of Italy, the scientists advised that the country be divided into two, with stricter rules for the harder-hit North.
But just 48 hours later, the government announced a nationwide shutdown, with far more draconian restrictions than those mandated by their own advisers.
The rules, which effectively confined all non-key workers to their homes, were much stricter than those later implemented in other European countries such as Germany and the U.K.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, reporting to parliament in late March, claimed that decisions on what measures to take “had always been based on the accurate evaluations of the technical-scientific committee.”
Conte has faced criticism from opposition parties for ruling with an iron fist during the pandemic and cutting down on civil liberties while being unaccountable to parliament. The parliament has extended his emergency power to rule by decree until the end of October.
On March 7, 48 hours before the nationwide lockdown was announced, the government’s scientific and technical committee advised closing schools, bars and nightclubs nationwide, according to the newly released minutes of a meeting between the committee and the government.
“Two levels of containment measures should be applied, a) one in areas with greater diffusion of the virus, b) the rest of the national territory,” the documents say.
In the Northern area — the Lombardy region and 11 provinces in Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piedmont — they also recommended the closure of gyms, swimming pools, spas and museums, and that sporting events be banned.
The scientists made no recommendations about confining residents to their homes and even advised that bars, restaurants and churches could stay open all over Italy as long as people respected social distancing measures, according to the documents.
The entire Lombardy region was placed on lockdown the next day, but after hundreds of people fled by train to the South, Conte announced that the shutdown would be nationwide.
The minutes were published by the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, a research institute in Rome, which took legal action to push for their release. The institute’s lawyer Rocco Todero said: “There was a restriction on civil liberties of the greatest kind, for a long period, and it was right that citizens know what were the scientific, factual and epidemiological reasons behind that.”
Opposition politicians had also demanded that the minutes of the meeting be made public. Massimiliano Romeo of the far-right League this week accused the government of hiding information and being anti-democratic.
He said: “Once again this government runs away from the truth and respect for its citizens.”
The news of the government’s decision to implement a nationwide lockdown without scientific backing is likely to fuel resentment in the South of Italy, which was less affected by the virus.