“This is how he hindered us in the war on Covid” – Libero Quotidiano

Gianluca Veneziani

18 maggio 2022

He suffered slanderous attacks and had to leave his post, paying for sins he did not have. Perhaps in the hectic phases of the first year of the pandemic it was difficult to applaud anyone, but certainly Giulio Gallera, a force worker and former Lombardy Region Welfare Councilor, did not deserve the whistles and kicks in the butt suffered for the management of Covid. Now, with dignity and intellectual honesty, Gallera recounts that year in the trenches, a combination of ordeal for the criticisms received and pride for the choices made, in the book Diary of an unconventional war (Guerini e Associati, with a preface by Alessandro Sallusti) , out the day after tomorrow.

Gallera, is the book a revenge against the politicians and the media who attacked you?
«It is the photograph of the human and professional experience of dozens of people who have worked in a commendable way in recent months in the Lombard health system. It arises from the need to tell what happened and why, with the gaze of those who really lived it.
We have suffered complaints from those who were comfortably seated on the sofa … ».

What were the responsibilities of the Minister of Health Speranza in managing the first phase of the pandemic?
“The pandemic fell on us like a tsunami and no one warned us that it was coming or what it was or how it was to be dealt with. Who was supposed to do it, the Ministry of Health and the scientists of the National Institute of Health, did not. At the beginning there were no masks, pads and reagents but neither the government nor the commissioner ad acta, Borrelli of the Civil Protection, took action to place an order or to urge the regions to find those medical devices and tools. On the part of all these subjects there was an underestimation and an overall lightness ».

Are you surprised that Hope is still in her place?
«Speranza is the leader of a party and this will have helped him … I don’t want to blame him too much, but I would have expected solidarity from the institutions and not a discharge of responsibility.
If we of the Lombardy Region were put on the dock, then Speranza, Conte, Borrelli and Arcuri had to end up too ».

What are Conte’s main responsibilities?
“Your government has been extremely reluctant to take strong measures, and it has done so only under pressure from the Lombardy Region. His decisions have often been watered down and taken slowly. The first real lockdown started in Italy on March 22, 2020, too late. Do you think that until the morning of 7 March Conte did not want to close Lombardy, he intended to maintain very mild measures, because in the productive world they were all against it, he said … his”.

Do you have any mea culpa to recite?

«No, I think that in the Region we have done everything with the utmost respect for the tools we were given: we have a clear conscience. Indeed, we can speak of a Lombardy model that has saved many lives thanks to two strengths: the great flexibility in the conversion of the hospital network, for which we were able to welcome thousands of Covid patients, and the mechanism to free hospitals, entrusting them away away the inpatients to the intermediate care network “.


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Was there only ignorance or even malice in the attacks on you and on the Region?

«It is evident that behind there was a political direction, managed at a regional and national level by Pd and 5 Stelle. Falsehoods were said, for example that we had put the infected among the elders of the RSA. Instead we made a resolution that said exactly the opposite. For these lies Governor Fontana and I have been called murderers. The media mud was unleashed when en passant, in an interview, I said that I was making myself available for the candidacy for mayor of Milan ».

Do you think you were the scapegoat?

«Well, the center-right has been influenced by the media campaign against Lombardy. Above all, the Lega thought it was better that I take a step back because I said that I would not have the doctors return from two days of vacation to meet the daily rankings of Arcuri on vaccinations ».

Could Fontana have defended her more?

«Let’s say that up to that moment there has been an absolute harmony with him …».

And your party protected you?

“In Berlusconi I found an attentive interlocutor, I can’t blame him for anything.”

Licia Ronzulli has just been appointed coordinator of Forza Italia in Lombardy in place of Massimiliano Salini. Happy with the choice?

«I have known Ronzulli for 15 years. We supported each other in the election campaigns. She is a very smart woman, she will do well ».

Gelmini has argued over the change at the top, defining Salini’s as a “surreal removal” and arguing that “a confrontation was needed”. What do you think?

«The rules are those. It was always Berlusconi who appointed the coordinators. Before Ronzulli, Salini and Gelmini were also nominated by him in that role without there being a confrontation. So why should it be there now? I find it a surreal, instrumental and unmotivated controversy, at a time when we should be united, given that the party is regaining consensus ».

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