ROME — The leader of Italy’s League party has attacked Education Minister Lucia Azzolina, calling her incompetent in dealing with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
During an electoral rally in the southern Italian city of Trani, Matteo Salvini underscored what he deems absurd measures proposed by Azzolina — a member of the Five Star Movement — for reopening Italian schools.
Italy’s unelected government under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has determined that children can return to school on September 14, but only by complying with a series of draconian measures.
“A month ago, not as a senator but as a father, I asked Minister Azzolina — who yesterday called me a troglodyte and a clown: ‘Come September, what time do I take my daughter to school, what time do I go to pick her up, how many days does she go to school, where will she eat, where she goes to the gym, with how many other children and with how many teachers?’” Mr. Salvini said.
“I told her: If they force my 7-year-old daughter and your children to go to school enclosed in Plexiglass, wearing a mask, and with desks on wheels, I am not sending my daughter to school. Our children are not postal packages,” Salvini continued.
“The minister loves to say, ‘Salvini has a problem with me because I am a woman.’ No, I have a problem with her not because she is a woman but because she is incapable of doing her job,” Salvini concluded.
Of late, Mr. Salvini has insisted that the Conte government is trying to stretch out the coronavirus crisis as long as possible for political and ideological motives, despite a lack of scientific reasons to do so. The League leader has claimed that by arbitrarily extending Italy’s “state of emergency,” the Conte government retains its emergency powers to issue binding decrees without the approval of parliament, a situation Salvini has described as “political blackmail.”
According to official data from the Italian Health Authority (ISS), there are currently fewer than 70 coronavirus patients in intensive care units in the entire country, and daily deaths with coronavirus have not exceeded 10 in weeks.
Italian health officials have noted a higher number of positive cases, after increasing the number of tests performed by tens of thousands per day. Medical personnel have observed, however, that the vast majority of these cases are asymptomatic and healthy.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease five months ago, 35,437 people have died with the coronavirus in Italy at an average age of 81 years and an average of two serious comorbidities. Not a single Italian teenager has died from the disease.
According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), it is not clear at this time whether asymptomatic transmission of the virus has ever occurred, noting that it is “mainly spread through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing or has other symptoms such as fever or tiredness.”