Francesco Zambon’s version is 1,532 pages, stored on a stick of a few centimeters. Now, according to what Adnkronos Health learns, it is in the hands of the prosecutors of Bergamo, who are investigating on several fronts to shed light on the management of the pandemic in what turned out to be one of the first areas hardest hit by Covid-19 in Italy . A work of investigation that has gradually expanded, turning on the spotlight also on critical points such as the failure to update the pandemic plan and other aspects still to be clarified.
In those 1,532 pages, the former official of the World Health Organization wanted to collect the reconstruction of everything that has happened since the day when, within the UN health agency, it was decided to create the now famous ‘An Unprecedented Challenge’ report on Italy’s first response to Covid-19, up to the day of publication and its subsequent withdrawal, in May 2020. The thread is the chronology of facts – guided by a 63-page table – and each step is documented by a mass of documents, exchanges of communications, emails, collected in 182 attachments. It is the truth of Zambon, a personal memory deposited in recent days in the prosecutor’s office.
It is the first time that the expert provides all the documents he is in possession of to reconstruct the story that saw him as the protagonist. And his lawyer, Vittore d’Acquarone, explains the meaning of the initiative to Adnkronos Salute: “Francesco is not investigated. As a person informed of the facts, he wanted to provide all the material available, a sheet accompanied by all the relative attachments with the which he has reconstructed in analytical terms, to the best of his knowledge, the whole process “. An initiative that comes after another memorandum was filed in the same offices, in this case defensive. That of the former WHO deputy director, Ranieri Guerra, under investigation for false information to the prosecutor.
“Several interviews were released and allusions were made to the fact that Zambon had made a partial and malicious reconstruction of the events – says the lawyer – He, in the first deposition to the Bergamo prosecutor, simply answered the questions and commented on emails and documents that are were exhibited, made public by others and ended up in the center of television broadcasts and in the media. In this circumstance, however, Zambon drew on his own documentation of the time and analytically reconstructed all the various passages. He wanted to prove that all that which he has always supported since May 2020 is also supported by full-bodied material “.
Emails, internal documents, with which “he reconstructed minute by minute what the communications relating to the relationship were. He brought everything he has, to give a complete picture”. Zambon wants to re-establish some points. “It was alluded to – adds D’Acquarone – to the fact that he would have published the report even without being authorized, that he had personal interests. This, to a man who felt forced to resign, without severance pay and losing his salary, does feel like putting everything on the table. And then everyone will make their own assessments “.
A passage that aims to clarify is the suggestion according to which Zambon would have made “a leap forward”, publishing the report on May 13 when it was to be published on the 24th of the same month. “In reality, May 24 was the deadline. And all the WHO or the people who worked around that report at WHO knew that anticipating the dates would be an advantage, for what was the function of the report, that is to alert others. Countries using Italy as an example. They managed to complete it on the 13th and published it, all aware, in a transparent way, also congratulating the fact that they had managed to anticipate it. No leaps forward “, says the lawyer. Documents are also provided on this.
“For a moment we give credit to the thesis according to which Zambon would have produced a report of poor quality, would have published it without being authorized and then would have blamed the publication on his superiors. If it had been so – reasons D’Acquarone – they would have fired him. day later. Instead he received no disciplinary reminder and even at the time of his resignation he received very high ratings as an official, like those of previous years. And, on the other hand, the WHO and Guerra did not say anything until autumn 2020. This thesis was born months after the retirement. In our opinion the reasons were other. Zambon suspected them or deduced them from some facts since May 2020. And the chats between Guerra, Brusaferro and Zaccardi emerged in 2021 some questions, if nothing else, they must ask you “.
As for the comments made on the report, D’Acquarone clarifies, “the final evaluation of the highest body of the WHO, which had only been interested in the Covid era of publications, had considerations on the style and considerations on the ‘China box'” relating to the early days of Sars-CoV-2, “but they were not conditioning with respect to the publication. So Zambon did not consider making changes on the style. On the China box he did his checks and then published. The green light comes from the fact that final approval was an unconditional approval. The decision to publish the report as soon as possible was shared by all. ” Were they aware that the report was out that day? “Absolutely yes. WHO was informed and Guerra was also informed”.
As for the need to inform the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, “it is known what was the role of Guerra in Italy, designated by Tedros at the request of Speranza precisely in order to maintain relations between WHO and Italy on the pandemic. Guerra was peacefully informed on the report, the index had been sent to him, it was linked to all the weekly meetings with which the group was updated on the level of evolution of the document, it was in the cc in the emails. Nobody worked behind his back. And, given his role, no one. he asked if he was confronting the minister step by step, he could take it for granted “.
What is the hope now? “Zambon – concludes D’Acquarone – is not part of any procedure. The hope is that he will be able to find some peace of mind, and maybe another job. When someone says he has taken personal advantage, if you say it with respect to the book that he has published, just inquire: he probably does not get the salary of a month, a month and a half. From a personal point of view he has only drawn suffering and disadvantages. He has made the choice to pursue a certain type of reasoning in line according to him with his duties, that is to act in the independence of the WHO. Even his latest decision to produce all the documents he had goes in this direction “.