ROME — The famous Italian singer Andrea Bocelli spoke before the Italian Senate on Monday denouncing what he considers an exaggerated and disproportionate response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bocelli was invited to recount his experiences at a conference titled “Covid-19 in Italy: Information, Science, and Rights,” organized at the Italian Parliament by Senators Armando Siri and Vittorio Sgarbi.
In his brief address, Bocelli said that “from the moment we went into full lockdown I tried to empathize with those who had to make such important decisions at such a sensitive time” but on analyzing the reality of the situation “I saw that things were not exactly as we were told.”
The first fights Bocelli had were at home, he said, when he began to express “certain doubts about the severity of this so-called ‘pandemic.’”
“The first to attack me were my children who said to me, ‘Dad, stick to Tosca and Madame Butterfly and leave aside viruses that you know nothing about,’” Bocelli recalled.
“But as time went by, I realized that I know a ton of people, but thank God I didn’t know a single person who had even wound up in intensive care, and I wondered about our drastic response,” he said.
“Distancing myself from any political party, I want to say that there came a time when I felt humiliated and offended by being deprived of the freedom to leave my house, despite having committed no crime,” he said. “And I must confess publicly, and I do so here, that in certain cases I voluntarily disobeyed this prohibition because it seemed neither just nor healthy to stay at home.”
Along with his own concerns, however, Bocelli said that he was more worried still about the nation’s children. To date, not a single teenager in Italy has died with coronavirus and worldwide the mortality rate among children is infinitesimal.
“I think it is important to underscore the matter of our schools and our children,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old daughter and I can’t imagine these kids meeting at school separated by plexiglass barriers and hiding behind face masks.”
“I cannot understand how with such incredible speed we decided to shut down our schools and with the same speed we reopened discotheques, where kids go not to form their brains but to waste them,” he added.
The famous tenor concluded by issuing “a heartfelt appeal to refuse to follow this rule,” while calling for a broad debate in society as well as the formation of a unified front “because this battle can only be won by forming a united front of people with common sense who know how to look beyond their personal interests.”
“I have called Renzi, Salvini, Berlusconi to try to reach across the aisles and unite in a coalition of common sense,” he said. “I hope that in this way we can all move out of this terrible situation.”