A photo of a grey-haired man, tears running down his face as he stands in front of a microphone, has been posted on Facebook.
“Pray for Italy,” its description reads.
“Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ‘We have lost control, we have killed the epidemic physically and mentally. Can’t understand what more we can do, all solutions are exhausted on ground. Our only hope remains up in the Sky, God rescue your people.’”
Italy has so far been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, the country has over 74,000 cases of the coronavirus disease. More people – about 7,500 – have died in Italy than in China, the country where the outbreak began.
Brazilian president Bolsonaro
Our first step was to crop the photo and do a reverse image search. This revealed that it is in fact of Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil. Conte, the current prime minister of Italy, looks markedly different.
The image showed up on Poder360, a Brazilian news website, in a story about Bolsonaro. At a church service in Brasilia, on 17 December 2019, Bolsonaro spoke about his gratitude for surviving a stabbing he suffered during the 2018 election campaign he later won. “Excuse me. Few have a second life,” he told the crowd, according to translated remarks.
The photo does not show Italy’s prime minister weeping about the coronavirus outbreak.
Conte quote can’t be found
Looking through his recent statements on Italy’s measures to fight the new coronavirus, we have not seen any that indicate Conte has given up. We’ve scoured search engines for the exact quote and have come up empty.
The quote, which would have been newsworthy, does not appear in any credible international press reporting. It is made up. – Vincent Ng’ethe
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