Today, May 23rd, the third appointment of the #Italiandigitaltownhall series dedicated to the Italian community in the State of Texas was held. The event was opened by the Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio in the presence of the Consul General in Houston, Federico Ciattaglia. Texas, one of the largest states in the Union, is home to a large Italian community engaged in leading sectors of the American economy and in numerous university facilities and cutting-edge research centres, including many in the medical and health field.
The panellists Prof. Maria Elena Bottazzi (Microbiologist and Molecular Virologist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston), Prof. Fernanda Leazza (Pharmacologist and toxicologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston) and Prof. Giovanni Filardo (Cardiovascular Epidemiologist at the Baylor University Medical Center Dallas) provided a detailed picture of the consequences of the pandemic in their respective fields of activity. The conversation, moderated by AGI's US correspondent, Rita Lofano, alternated medical-scientific explanations with anecdotes and personal experiences. Rita Lofano then collected numerous questions from the public aimed at obtaining reassuring information on the spread of the virus and clear indications on the procedures to be followed to reduce the risk of contagion at a time when the United States is starting the reopening phase.
Prof. Bottazzi explained her search for a vaccine, starting from the experience accumulated in research on viruses for tropical diseases and other viruses such as SARS and MERS, Prof. Leazza explained the possible pharmacological therapies and the results of her research activity on Covid-19, Professor Filardo highlighted how the anti-corporal texts and tracking are fundamental to understand the pandemic and return to normal. The conversation, broadcast live on the Consulate General's Facebook channel in Houston, received over 1000 views.
The conversation – as Ambassador Varricchio pointed out at the end – highlighted how "Italian excellence in Texas is an essential reference point for our community in the Lone Star State. In a difficult and uncertain time, their authoritativeness has helped to provide clear answers to many questions".
The #italiandigitaltownhall series will continue in the coming days in
Los Angeles (May 26th) and
San Francisco (June 4th)