Virologists and TV, Bassetti: “I would repeat those shit”. Galli: “Never again with no vax”. Viola: “That’s good.”

Of Margaret DeBac

After three years of the pandemic, some of the “scientists” who have made the front page most often cast their votes. Here’s what they say they learned

In the three years of the pandemic they have been the protagonists of interviews in newspapers, radio and television. They have been guiding the opinions of readers and listeners on Covid for three years. For three years they have been fighting with the guests of organized debates precisely because they make headlines. And in these three years of super training in the communication gym, what have virologists learned, so called in spite of their real skills? What mistakes would they avoid today? Would they do it all over again if the pandemic tape was rewound?

Influenza quote

Matteo Bassetti, infectious disease specialist at San Martino, (who has repeatedly interrupted the connection due to disputes with guests) regrets a sentence. «Covid is little more than a flu», she ventured when it all was about to begin (February 2020): «The public took it as if I wanted to trivialize a serious risk. I was referring to lethality. I was wrong to express myself that way. In my defence, the fact remains that they were the first interviews and I was not prepared for information in times of crisis». And now? «I have withdrawn, I have greater control of the vehicle, I know where to go. The balance of my performances is positive. But I certainly don’t regret the vaffa sent to certain guests when they said nonsense, like Boralevi. Instead, I made myself clear with Ventura». And the Christmas song with Fabrizio Pregliasco and Andrea Crisanti? «It was useful, it drew attention to vaccines»

Meetings between colleagues

The infectious disease specialist Massimo Galli, retired from 1 November, professor emeritus of the University of Milan, would avoid “the excess exposure” from which he has tried to escape in these 3 years, announcing that he would take a break. They called me constantly. I was torn between the instinct to escape and the sense of responsibility to give my testimony, to debunk the strange hypotheses that flocked. It had become oppression. I repeat that I have never taken a penny.’ He didn’t hold back even when it came to discussing live with colleagues including the anesthesiologist Alberto Zangrillo. What would you not do again? “Lend me comparisons with flat earthers and novax. You’ll get me out of the backyard noise. But I was at the end of my career and, having no intention of using fame to my advantage, I didn’t ask myself the question of what I was saying and against whom».

Purple and look

Antonella Viola is promoted, microbiologist, professor of pathology in Padua, former face of the Airc (cancer research association), today also a science popularizer on RAI1, and commentator on La7. “The secret to talking to people? Smile and express yourself with simplicity. Tell the truth, based on scientific evidence but without spreading panic. I didn’t think I had these abilities.” She was brown before, now sporting a blond bob, have you also learned the pleasure of hair and make-up? “I haven’t changed my look. Before the lockdown I had restored my natural color imagining that for several months I would not be able to do streaks. I’ve always had short hair”

January 11, 2023 (change January 11, 2023 | 1:05 pm)

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Virologists and TV, Bassetti: “I would repeat those shit”. Galli: “Never again with no vax”. Viola: “That’s good.”

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