Bocelli apologizes for controversial COVID-19 comments

Tenor came under fire for saying he felt 'humiliated' by the lockdown

(ANSA) - ROME, 29 LUG - Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli apologized on Wednesday after coming under heavy fire for criticising the government's coronavirus restrictions at a conference at the Senate earlier this week.
    During the conference Bocelli said he felt "humiliated and offended" by the limitations on freedom imposed during the COVID-19 lockdown.
    "If my speech to the Italian Senate caused suffering, I wish to extend my sincere apologies, because my intention could not have been more different," Bocelli, who recovered after contracting the coronavirus himself, said on his Facebook page.
    "Just as it was not my intention to offend those who have been struck by COVID.
    "In fact, my family was not spared by the virus: we all caught it and we all feared for the worst, because no one can know the course a disease such as this will take, which is still partially unknown to us.
    "The intent of my speech to the Italian Senate was to send a message of hope for a near future in which - children first and foremost - can find again a sense of normality and can hope to live "as children", playing with and hugging one another, as they should at their age, and to be able to grow up happy and healthy.
    "This, and this alone, was the meaning I intended to convey with my speech. To all those people who felt offended or suffered because of how I expressed myself - undoubtedly not in the best possible way - and the words I used, I ask that they accept my sincerest apologies, as my intention was quite the opposite".
    During the conference, Matteo Salvini, the leader of the opposition League party, refused to respect the obligation to wear a facemask, given that the meeting was held in an enclosed space.
    The conference also featured the participation of Professor Alberto Zangrillo, the head of anesthesiology and intensive care at Milan's San Raffaele hospital, who has caused controversy by saying that COVID-19 has become significantly less potent than it was a few months ago. (ANSA).


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