An Italian politician who tried to get an anti-vaccination movie screened in Parliament and branded fears over COVID-19 a “ridiculous hysteria” has died from the coronavirus.
Bartolomeo Pepe, 59, is a former senator for the Five Star Movement and he passed away in Cutugno Hospital in the Italian city of Naples on 23rd December after it was confirmed he was positive for COVID-19.
He had been admitted to the hospital because of acute interstitial pneumonia caused by the coronavirus a week earlier, on 18th December.
According to reports, he was hospitalised in a critical condition, and the medical team that was monitoring and assisting him quickly diagnosed the case as acute. A short while later, he was intubated.
When he arrived at the hospital, he had told doctors that he had not been vaccinated by choice.
Pepe was elected to the Senate with the Five Star Movement in 2013.
After two years, he left the movement and joined the Movement for the Autonomies party till the end of his legislative period, when he became known as an anti-vaxxer.
During his mandate, he tried to organise a screening of the film ‘Vaxxed’, a pseudoscientific documentary explaining why people should be against vaccinations, but he had to cancel it due to widespread protest from other politicians and public criticism.
He also even recently called fears of COVID-19 “ridiculous hysteria”.
The leader of the Five Star Movement in the Chamber of Deputies, Davide Crippa, was one of those who expressed condolences to the dead man’s family, saying: “I learn with regret of the death of former senator Bartolomeo Pepe. To his family and loved ones, the condolences of our parliamentary group.”
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Story By: Marija Stojkoska, Sub-Editor: William McGee, Agency: Newsflash
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