Proud ‘plague-spreading’ anti-vaxxer dies
Maurizio Buratti, a mechanic who gained a cult following for his radio show call-ins, has died of coronavirus after 22 days in intensive care. He had boasted about going to the supermarket maskless while suffering from a fever.
Buratti, who claimed he had been “defending the constitution” by ignoring public health advice, died on Monday. The 61-year-old became famous for the calls he made to La Zanzara over the course of a decade, in which he had shared some highly controversial opinions, including most recently about the pandemic, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about what he called “the Jewish lobby.”
Known to fellow listeners as Mauro from Mantua, he denied that coronavirus existed, and boasted about being a “plague spreader,” stating on air that he had deliberately gone to a supermarket without wearing a mask while feeling unwell, despite having a temperature of 38C. He subsequently refused to get tested for Covid-19, claiming it was the swabs that actually caused the virus. The radio show’s presenter urged him to go to hospital, but he resisted, insisting, “There are communists there and I don’t trust them.”
In his last-ever call-in, Buratti said he would be seeking asylum in Korea or Turkey to avoid being forced to get the vaccine. A few days later, he was admitted to hospital in Verona, where he eventually died.
Presenter David Parenzo tweeted, “Rest in peace wherever you are, old conspiracy theorist. I only hope your sad story serves as an example to all those who are still fueling doubts about the efficacy of vaccines.”