Bergamo and the flop of the beginning of the pandemic: “WHO Report made to disappear from China”

Bergamo – One mail could decide part of the story that revolves around the figure of Ranieri Guerra, WHO Deputy Director, the World Health Organization. On November 5 last year, Guerra had long been heard as witness in the prosecutor’s office in Bergamo (where we proceed, against unknown persons, in an investigation, arranged on several fronts, on the management of the pandemic in the Orobic territory). Some time later his name was entered in the register of suspects for false statements to the prosecutor.

The case is delicate, fraught with questions, full of intricacies and implications. On 14 May 2020, less than twenty-four hours after its publication, the website of the European section of the Organization disappears “WHO report” on management of the first wave of the pandemic, strictly defined as “chaotic, improvised and creative”. At work whose document disappears? In the request of letters rogatory in Switzerland (the WHO headquarters is in Geneva) the Bergamo prosecutors write that Guerra himself would have “personally worked to remove the WHO site from the report”. The version of Ranieri Guerra has recently returned to the judicial offices of Bergamo with a forty-page memoir signed by the defender, the Roman professor Roberto De Vita, which concludes with the request for the filing of his client. There were no interventions from Italy. There was no war on either side interference, nor much less pressures or threats why the report disappeared, coordinated by Francesco Zambon, head of WHO researchers in Venice. And the removal request did not depart from Italy but from China. And here is the email attached to the defense brief.

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On the same day of May 14 a year ago, at 12.11, an e-mail message was sent by Gauden Galea, a WHO official in China, to Zambon and a copy to Dorait Nitzan, of the WHO Europe Office. The peremptory request was “to remove the document from the web immediately. Consider it an emergency”. This is because the study was “inaccurate” and contradicted other documents. Therefore “it is necessary that the box on China be urgently reviewed”. The report, concludes the lawyer De Vita, “was published and then withdrawn by Zambon himself on the basis of the relations maintained” by the Venetian researcher “with his direct referents-superiors (among which Dr. Guerra is not included in any way “For his part, Zambon (who resigned from WHO at the beginning of March) said he had withdrawn the study to make some corrections and that it was no longer back online.

The missed update of the Pandemic Plan. Guerra told prosecutors that during his tenure at the Ministry of Health as Director of Prevention, from October 2014 to November 2017, an update of the plan had not been necessary since no health events had occurred that required it. But in 2013, the power of attorney reconstructed, WHO had requested an update which there was not. Guerra claims instead that he verbally declared to the magistrates that “as long as I was general manager, the plan was reviewed annually and confirmed in validity”. “Finally – observes the defensive brief – precisely following the publication of the guidelines completed in 2017 by the WHO, in September of the same year the same dr. Guerra considered the need to review the national pandemic plan in an organic and shared manner with the other institutions concerned, informing the Minister of the advisability of setting up a special working group, made up of representatives of the Higher Institute of Health, of the Universities and bodies of research, scientific societies and IRCCS, research and treatment institutes “. In November Guerra left the position of general manager” and, therefore, he will not know or follow in any way the developments and the fate of this project “.

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