Governor Of Hard-Hit Region In Italy Receives Police Protection Amid Threats

Attilio Fontana during press conference in Lombardy Region for the #ripartilombardia program at Palazzo Pirelli, Milan, Italy, May 14 2020. #Ripartilombardia is an operational program designed for the relaunch of the... Attilio Fontana during press conference in Lombardy Region for the #ripartilombardia program at Palazzo Pirelli, Milan, Italy, May 14 2020. #Ripartilombardia is an operational program designed for the relaunch of the Italian tourism sector, a sector very affected by the coronavirus emergency. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images) MORE LESS

MILAN — The governor of the Lombardy region, the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus epidemic, has been placed under police protection after receiving threats related to the health emergency.

Gov. Attilio Fontana confirmed in a Facebook post that authorities assigned him the protection, and not at his request. Officials cited a “climate” around the governor that has become “incandescent,’’ including graffiti labeling him a killer and internet threats regarding the region’s handling of the epidemic.

Fontana has been called for questioning as part of an investigation into his failure to create a red zone around two small cities next to Bergamo after the first case was identified in a hospital Feb. 23 — two days after 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto were declared hot spots.

Other Italian officials dealing with the virus also have been placed under police escort because of threats.

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