September 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — During a stay in Livorno, Tuscany, in September, I met Alberto Rossi, an Italian doctor specializing in pneumology (diseases of the respiratory tract), who was a member of the medical volunteers who hastened to the north of the country in March because of the COVID-19 crisis. Northern Italy was one of the hardest-hit regions in the country. Of the total of 313,011 declared cases to date, and 35,875 deaths attributed to the Wuhan virus, more than three quarters were registered in Lombardy (101,526 cases and 16,951 dead to date), Piedmont, Venetia and Emilia-Romagna. In the latter province, 35,429 cases were registered to date, and 4,468 deaths.
Dr. Alberto Rossi sat down with LifeSite to tell of his personal experience in one of the main hospitals in Emilia-Romagna. He is convinced that the political response in Italy to the COVID-19 crisis was fraught with bad decisions, including a general ban on autopsies that would have avoided sticking to erroneous therapeutic processes and the dubious choice of scientific experts who have consistently made false predictions but who are still orientating official policies.
Here below is Alberto Rossi’s full interview.
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LifeSite: Dr. Alberto Rossi, first of all, tell us who you are and how you came to have firsthand knowledge of the COVID-19 crisis in Italy.
Dr. Alberto Rossi: I am a military doctor with the rank of colonel, now retired. I made myself available to the civil defense here in Italy to go and help my colleagues in the regions that were hit first by the coronavirus. I was part of the first contingent deployed in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. I was assigned to the latter region, at the hospital in Piacenza.
It was an interesting experience for me. I saw two of my colleagues who took part in this activity like me fall ill; they were both younger than I (I am 69 years old, a little old man from 1951!), a man and a woman. They were cured in hospital after a week because they had no other pathology.
You joined the hospital not long after the beginning of the crisis. Were there already a lot of sick people?
Yes, I joined the hospital in Piacenza on March 26; this town received most of its COVID patients around March 12 to 13. When I arrived, we were at the peak of the infection. Personally, I was in charge of about 100 patients — people in a medium state of emergency. I did not work in intensive care. Almost all of these patients were elderly, let’s say over 70 years old, suffering from multiple pathologies. I personally investigated the health history of these patients and found that almost all of them had been vaccinated against the flu.
Is this vaccine common in Italy?
In the north, yes. People are vaccinated more in the north than in the center and in the south. Knowing that the US. .military has observed adverse reactions to the administration of the flu vaccine, including respiratory problems with pneumonia, I asked the patients I personally cared for if they had received the flu vaccine. Almost all of them had indeed received it. As I said, this vaccine is very common in Lombardy. I suspect that it may have made things easier for COVID.
Among the 100 people I treated, I specifically noted a correspondence of age and pathologies. There were only three young people — born in 1983, 1985… — but they all suffered from another pathology. For example, one had a neoplasia (a tumor); another was on dialysis. That’s how I got an idea of the ability of SARS-COV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to hit people who were in a difficult situation for various reasons. The therapies that we applied at that time were hydroxychloroquine and anti-inflammatory drugs.
In your opinion, is hydroxychloroquine useful?
Hydroxychloroquine seems to be effective. We’ve used it, but we’ll do a study retrospectively. My function was to treat people with this therapy, and I can’t express a medical judgment. But I think, judging from the international press, hydroxychloroquine, Plaquenil, was very, very effective.
What is your opinion now on the COVID crisis?
My impression is that the COVID situation has been exaggerated, in such a way that I can’t clearly understand the situation. The disease undoubtedly existed, and it still exists because the virus still exists, but the virus spread regardless of our measures, our lockdowns, our confinements. It has somehow weakened — that is to say, it no longer has the same pathogenic capacity that it had when it first spread in March.
Perhaps I’m going to say a heresy, but as many experts of all colors have said this, I think this is something I can say, too. I am just a pulmonologist, not a specialist in virology. But I make this simple reasoning: if the virus is no longer as strong as it was, if it is no longer capable of causing pathologies, then what is the problem of seeing it spread faster … ? I remember that a few months ago, many Italian virologists were ringing alarm bells against such and such a gathering, such and such a meeting, such and such a public festivity, for example after soccer matches. I’m thinking in particular of the one between Naples and the “Juve,” when Naples won the Italian Cup and thousands of people gathered to celebrate. They said: “You will see, after a month, how many fatal cases we will have!” And nothing happened.
We are in the hands of so-called scientists who tell us what is going to happen and who are then belied by the facts. I think they have objectives that elude us. Undoubtedly, the infection is spreading all over the world, but in my opinion, it has been exaggerated a little, a little inflated for reasons I can’t understand and that concern me.
Are they political reasons?
I don’t know. In Italy, there is a particular state of affairs, politically speaking, because our government is in a position of great weakness, and it keeps itself alive through this situation, infusing fear. Every day on the news on television, we get a bulletin of the infected, the sick, and the healed. It seems to me that we are the only country in Europe that airs a daily bulletin in this way. All the television channels have joined the terror in this sense. They wanted to impose face masks on all the children in the schools. In the end, it is only for children over six years old. But a surgical mask serves to stop the virus as a fence stops ants — that is, not at all. If, moreover, the virus has lost its pathological capacity, I really don’t understand anything at all. Certainly, let’s protect the people most at risk. These people, yes.
Something very important has happened in my opinion: you know that on April 1 of this year, Roberto Speranza, the minister of health, issued a circular in which he discouraged quite firmly the performance of autopsies?
I’d heard of that. So it’s true?
Yes. I read the entire ordinance — and it is worth reading. It discourages autopsies, almost totally preventing them, practically saying that only the Judiciary, in particular cases, can appropriately perform autopsies. As a result, not a single specialized doctor ventured to perform autopsies on COVID victims. These were performed only later, when the greatest harm had already been done. If they had been done in time, we would have realized that the bilateral interstitial pneumopathies that we were seeing in the hospital were the consequence of a vasculopathy, a disseminated vascular thrombosis. So we used the wrong therapy. We pumped oxygen into the lungs when we should have been giving anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone and dexamethasone, for example, to block the inflammatory cascade. Today, that’s what we’re doing. In my opinion, but I’m just an ordinary man, the appropriate therapy could well be this one: cortisone from the start, and enoxaparin, which is a low molecular weight heparin, which is used to prevent thrombosis, not to solve it — for that there are other products. But to prevent thrombosis, you need a low molecular weight heparin.
Do you think the lockdown was helpful?
It’s enough. I am a military man, even if I am retired. I say this: we are used to emergencies in military health activity, and we know that if there is a spread of virus, the first thing to do is not to cram the sick into one hospital where they will infect everybody: the whole hospital will be infected and will become a COVID hospital even for those who come for a tonsillectomy or an appendectomy, for knee surgery… This is how a highly contagious virus spreads. I must add, however, that the virus has been fatal only in certain situations, but also because of treatment errors due to the reasoning that was done at the beginning of the crisis.
All that was really needed was to put a small field hospital outside the hospital and properly select among the patients.
The whole thing seems strange and suspicious to me: why did so many things not work? They should have worked, and they could work. There is something wrong with this story.
Today contaminations are much less serious, but you need to wear face masks everywhere in Italy.
Yes, everywhere. We are obliged to comply because otherwise we have administrative problems, fines, especially for those in charge of commercial activities, their customers and guests of the different structures. The economic damage has been monstrous. So many families have been hit. I imagine these people, these poor people living on odd jobs: what has become of them? The situation is worrying, really. And all this for what?
A few days ago, the Corvelva association, a Swiss association that provides alternative information, published a directory of virologists who have collaborated with pharmaceutical laboratories and who have received funding from them. I did myself a little favor: I went to see the names of some of the virologists who repeatedly appear on Italian television — Galli, Pregliasco, Lopalco… They are all virologists who have had and still have economic relations with the pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines. It’s not very pretty: they should at least say so. In itself, this is not reprehensible: I think that freedom is one of the most important things. But it includes the freedom to criticize, and even more so, the right to know for us users, ordinary citizens, whether the virologist who comes to pontificate every day on television has had economic relations with pharmaceutical companies, whether he has been paid, in short.
In France it is the same thing…
Of course. I collected the data — it was a bit tedious — and so I was able to establish that Lopalco, a virologist from the University of Pisa, politically committed alongside Emiliano who is the president of the Puglia region, and who pontificates all day on Facebook and on TV, was part of those virologists. I made a request to him on Facebook about the information that’s currently slowly spreading among the general population about virologists having interests with certain pharmaceutical laboratories that produce vaccines, saying it wouldn’t be a bad idea if he stated publicly that he hadn’t had any such relationship with these laboratories. He didn’t respond.
What do you think of the future COVID vaccine?
With the experience of those American soldiers who found themselves in a bad way… I myself was not against the use of vaccines, so much so that while I was serving at the military hospital in Livorno, when I was asked if I was a volunteer for an experimental hepatitis B vaccine, I answered positively, and I received that vaccine. But since I read and understood the results of a study that was published by Corvelva, from an Italian doctor, Dr. Bolgan, who published a film of about 15 minutes in which she gives information on the results obtained from an investigation into the components of this vaccine, I have been very worried. It is true that at the international level, there is an organization called AIFA, which is in charge of vaccine control at the European level. But as far as I know — and I may be wrong — it exercises its control after vaccination, and not on the components of the vaccines. As far as I know — but I can be mistaken — the States rely on the claims of the certifications made by the companies that produce the vaccines.
So these are self-certifications?
Yes, exactly. These are self-certifications that ensure that the vaccine is good, and the States administer it, taking into account precisely this self-certification.
After seeing Dr. Bolgan’s video, I was very concerned, and I can tell you I will not get vaccinated — especially since I’ve never done a flu shot. As a general practitioner, I have visited many people with the flu at home, some of whom had the courtesy of coughing directly into my face when I did a thoracic examination, but I never had the flu. By that I mean I have no predisposition. And I don’t have any other pathologies.
In any case, I have doubts, especially when it comes to imposing vaccines on children. In Italy this has been done since the 1970s by refusing school entry to those who are not vaccinated, but I’m not sure if this is a good thing.
I don’t want to make an anti-vaccine speech. But it’s too easy to say that if we hadn’t had a confinement, who knows how many deaths we would have had. We have no counter-evidence.
But just look at the example of Sweden, which has not had a lockdown, and whose death rate relative to the total population is similar to the rate we have here in Italy. We heard here on television: “Here in Italy, we are an example for the whole of Europe, for the whole world.” But it must be a negative example — for example, in that we refused to do autopsies.
What do you say about all this as a pneumologist?
I volunteered with the civil protection precisely because of my speciality, telling myself that perhaps I would be called upon in a second phase. In fact, I was part of the first contingent. I’m retired and a widower, and I thought, “Well, come what may.”
And have you been ill with COVID?
No. I did the swab at the end, as well as the blood test to see if I had antibodies — I hoped I had — but it was all negative. It’s true that you can only have a relative trust in these tests; they should at least be repeated to verify the first result.
Was the Italian population terrorized? Do they wear masks here because they don’t want to pay the fine or because they are afraid?
They are terrorized! We see a lot of people alone in cars wearing masks.
In Nice, France, masks are mandatory even for people alone in cars.