Italy's Far-Right And Nationalist Leaders Are Pushing Debunked Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus To Millions Of Followers - 2020-03-26
Opposition parties are going to oppose. Populists will be populists. But in the middle of a global pandemic, misinformation can spread panic and even cost lives.
As the coronavirus swept through Italy, infecting tens of thousands of people and killing more than anywhere else in the world so far, the country's nationalist and far-right parties have struggled for attention.
Last month, as Italy was gradually shutting down, Matteo Salvini, former deputy prime minister and leader of the nationalist Lega party, and Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, urged people to go on holiday. In a video posted on Facebook, Meloni told her followers, in English, to not believe what they were seeing on television. As proof, she pointed to a crowded Rome.