“Are they recent or last year?”, So asked two weeks ago, referring to the deceased from Covid, the director of Dasoe, Letizia Di Liberti, who ended up under house arrest yesterday. It is an emblematic interception of the investigation into the alleged falsification of data related to the pandemic in Sicily – which also led to the resignation of the councilor for Health, Ruggero Razza – because it gives a perfect idea of the way in which the statistics would have been managed: on March 16, the possibility of including people who died in 2020 was also discussed in the data. It is no coincidence that the investigating judge of Trapani, Cristina Brignone, speaks of a “disconcerting and disheartening picture” and points out the “extraordinary gravity of the disputed facts”, of “lightness and underestimation of the risk that leave astonished”, of numbers that seem “extracted from fate “and stigmatizes:” The way of the suspects is dismayed, completely forgetting the personal, family and collective tragedies that are obviously behind those numbers “.
The investigating judge: “Data also distorted by the electoral consensus”
The judge then believes that the suspects (in addition to Di Liberti, Salvatore Cusimano and Emilio Madonia have also ended up under house arrest) have “operated within the framework of a more general and of a political nature“. Specifically” we tried to give an image of the stability and efficiency of the regional health service and the political class it administers better than the real one and to avoid the passage of the entire Region or some of its areas in the orange zone or red, with everything that comes with it, also in terms of electoral consent for the administrators. “Consent, therefore, according to the investigating judge, and while they would try to make believe that everything was going smoothly, that the situation was under control in reality it would be “allowed those in charge to appreciate the real spread of the pandemic in Sicily and to adopt the appropriate determinations” preventing “citizens from knowing the real exposure to the pandemic risk and to behave accordingly”.
“Absolute chaos and widespread disorganization
An “absolute chaos” emerges from the interceptions, a “widespread disorganization”, the “slowness of the peripheral offices in charge of data collection” to which “the willful misconduct of administrative and political bodies at the top of the regional organization” would be added. , as the judge writes, also speaking of a “real dimension that appears to have escaped the very subjects who alter the data”.
In many conversations the daily struggle emerges to try to “make ends meet”, to “spread”, “remove”, “add”, “realign”, with laboratories and hospitals – such as the Cannizzaro of Catania, for example – that ” do not send data “, or the transmission of” duplicates “, not to mention the mess between Enna and Caltanissetta, for which the first province would have turned its numbers on Covid to the second and the latter would not have communicated anything to Dasoe, convinced that did the other.
“Moral contribution of Commissioner Renato Costa”
Furthermore, the judge – but the jurisdiction over the investigation has passed to Palermo – also sees a “decisive moral contribution” by Renato Costa, extraordinary commissioner for the Covid emergency, in a perspective in which, for the investigating judge, the “specter of accusation” would in the future go towards an expansion rather than a narrowing. The three arrested will be interrogated on Friday, while Razza, who received the guarantee notice yesterday, decided to exercise the right not to answer before the magistrates of Trapani.
“I wanted to get below 900”
“Then maybe we distribute them”, Di Liberti said, always recommending that in the case of an increase in the number of positives, it would also be necessary to increase the number of tampons, to avoid raising the Rt index (fundamental for the colored bands) to the stars. “There are a lot of positives who have never communicated these here”, the manager was still angry, referring to some hospitals, and elsewhere she suggested: “Get a little bit about Catania, a little about Palermo”, or “put at least 500 tampons. “because” I wanted to get below 900 “. Almost as if she had decided which direction the curve should take, what face the pandemic should have in Sicily.
Race: “Let’s squeeze a little …”
In another case, Di Liberti said referring to the number of tampons “do 8,100, we have 10 percent, let’s try not to go too much above 10” or he complained: “Catania and Messina are a lot, postpone 50 and 50 tampons there leave them as they are … because the problem is the percentage “. He would then strictly follow the instructions of the former councilor Razza, who on one occasion told her, in relation to the data: “Let’s see, let’s tighten a picca, let’s see it goes …”.
“We found 140 deaths never reported”
“There are too many hospitalizations – Di Liberti still reasoned – because we are not discharged, absolutely. Now the commissioner says, see how to fix the numbers because what is the problem? That if today we go out with 40 more hospitalizations and with all those positives , have you seen that the positives are more than 12, 13 percent? “. In another case: “We found 140 deaths never reported” explained Di Liberti to the spokesman of the commissioner, Francesco Lamiani, who replied: “It must be communicated” and the suspect immediately replied: “But no 140, 5 a day” and he agreed: “Sure, right.”
“So we risk getting high”
Salvatore Cusimano would have realized at a certain point that the way of proceeding would not have been the best: “Why does this operation – he stated in fact – risk getting us high, I understand why I am not of the idea of putting on and taking off? They drive us crazy. .. So what do I do, do I take them all off? If you tell me that I have to take them off, I’ll delete them all on the fly “and Di Liberti:” It depends, if it’s 3 days then what do we have to load? “, “But we don’t know if there will be even more, that’s the problem …”.
“I have to give the right data to the councilor”
Last January 10, the Dasoe manager was resolute: “Ah, tomorrow, who is the commissioner or the day after tomorrow, I have to give him the right data, and I say to him: ‘Look, we have these, these, these to recover’, but on Palermo I’m not convinced … “. And again: “I have 100 left in Palermo and the councilor told me to finish them all today, so we have nothing left to recover” or “we have to raise them to at least 10 thousand because otherwise the incidence increases, so you put some 3 thousand and do 10 thousand, 10,300 (swabs, ed). On another occasion, on March 16, he explained to Lamiani: “Oh, we made a change because Ruggero asked me to, minus 20 on Palermo”.
Costa: “My joy, I more than give you the data …”
The day before, on March 15, Di Liberti was talking to Costa, worried about the growing data in Palermo: “It becomes a serious problem … Eh but do you understand that today we have 500 cases and 355 are only in Palermo?” and the special commissioner replied: “Eh, but my joy more than giving you the data”, “I don’t know what to do, what should we do?”, “I asked the prefecture to do exactly what they should have done, that is to put Zen under observation, they the only thing they managed to do, between the mayor, the commissioner and the prefect was what the local markets do not do! Now this increase is due to the fact that between yesterday and the day before yesterday we we have ‘contact tracing’ of all these positive subjects for which we have poured a ton of swabs to the Cqrc laboratory “.
“You want to divide them, divide them!”
Di Liberti then hypothesized: “So there is an increase, that is, but when this is the case, one of the things you can do is dilute them in two days, because all in one day, 355 are a very exaggerated number”, Costa replied: “I can tell you that the laboratories, in my opinion, are not all of one day” and she insisted: “I understand, but today I have these data, what do I do?”, “Do you want to divide them? Divide them”, “Noooo, no you can take away 60”, “And let’s stick to the usual values, now I’ll give them to you by province because you see that we have Caltavuturo that there is hell … I would leave these”. From these words, the investigating judge recognized Costa’s “decisive moral contribution” in the alleged falsification of data suggested by Di Liberti.