Francesco Zambone, the scientist who spoke about the World Health Organization’s withdrawal of a report on Italy’s early handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, has resigned.
He said that he decided to step down because the situation has become professionally “unsustainable,” according to the British newspaper, “The Guardian”.
The decision came after he confirmed that he had come under pressure from a senior WHO official to hide the fact that Italy had not updated its epidemic control plan since 2006.
Zambon said that his resignation, announced for the first time by “RAI” TV, will take effect at the end of the month.
Last August, investigations revealed that the plan to combat the Corona epidemic in Italy had been outdated for 14 years, a factor that may have contributed to the high numbers of deaths during the first wave of infections, and Italy was the most affected European country at the beginning of the epidemic.
Zampone was mandated to produce a report on Italy’s response, with the aim of providing information to countries not yet affected.
The report was published on the WHO website on May 13, but was removed a day later, at the request of the WHO Assistant Director-General for Strategic Initiatives, Ranieri Guaira.
Zampon later confirmed in an interview with the “Guardian” newspaper that Guaira had threatened him with dismissal unless he altered part of the text related to the old plan.
The World Health Organization did not explain the reason for the deletion of the report, but said in December that it “contains inaccurate information and contradictions.”
Source: British newspaper “The Guardian”