Raw video: Italian minister Luigi Di Maio thanks U.S. citizens and government for their help during the coronavirus crisis.
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Almost 19,000 in this country of 60.5 million people have died since the virus came to light in mid-February – over a hundred of the victims were doctors.
As the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths slowly begin to decline, the government is looking ahead at rebuilding the shattered economy and cognizant of those who helped in their time of need.
“We are finally beginning to see some positive results in terms of the contagion. However, Italy could not have made it alone” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, the 33-year former deputy minister of the Five Star party, said in an exclusive video for Fox News.
“International solidarity from our friends and partners around the world was key to withstand the hardest part of the crisis. The United States were second to none."
People shopping at Campo de Fiori fresh fruits and vegetables open market, as the statue of Giordano Bruno watches over the square, in Rome, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Domenico Arcuri, Italy’s commissioner for fighting the COVID-19 virus, appealed to Italians ahead of the Easter weekend to not lower their guard and to abide by a lockdown now in its fifth week. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (LaPresse via AP)
He continued: “The generosity of the American people and of the American government was remarkable, as proven by the many donations that we have received, including the field hospital in Cremona.”
The 60-bed field hospital in the hard-hit town of Cremona, donated by the U.S.-based Samaritan’s Purse, made Italian news for the speed in which the 15-tent structure was set up and treating coronavirus patients.
Other countries – China, Russia, Cuba, and Germany to name of few – also offered extensive help, flying in equipment and doctors, and in the case of Germany, flying out Italian ICU patients from overwhelmed hospitals for treatment in their structures.
A long line at the Esselunga supermarket in San Donato on the Saturday before Easter (LaPresse via AP)
But the foreign minister wanted to thank the U.S. government and send a message of hope.
“I would like to warmly thank President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their true friendship. Now the United States are going through the hardest part of the epidemic, but I am sure that you will make it through,” said Di Maio.
“We will defeat the virus and we will be back closer and stronger than before."
"Italy and the Italian people are with you,” Di Maio concluded.
Italy’s nationwide lockdown to contain infections has been extended till May 3rd, although a few more shops, beyond supermarkets and pharmacies, will be allowed to re-open next week.