Italy has emerged as the epicenter of the Coronavirus in Europe recording nearly 7000 deaths and nearly 70000 positive cases in the country. No doubt the number is high and it’s alarming.
Amidst the growing crisis in Italy a Photo of a crying man, which multiple social media platforms claimed to be that of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and is doing the rounds. In the purported image, the person seen with teary eyes is declaring he has lost all hopes and is citing helplessness in controlling COVID 19 in his country.
News Sense Fake Check Team found the viral post misleading and decided to debunk the misinformation for all. Using tools such as Source and Google Reverse Image Search. Source is a mobile-optimized web application to verify the origin of the images, developed by Storyful, in collaboration with the Google News Initiative.
Apart from using both the tools, we have also searched using various other methods and have come to the conclusion that the man seen in the picture is not that of the Italian Prime Minister but of the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
During the Fact-checking process using Source and Google Reverse Image Search we came across an article published in Poder360, a Brazilian Magazine in December 2019 carrying the viral image. According to the report, during a thanksgiving service at the Planalto Palace, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cried, while remembering the knife attack he had suffered in Juiz de Fora, during the election campaign of 2018.
An article in The Guardian dated September 7, 2018, also endorsed our findings, which said, “Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right frontrunner in next month’s Brazilian presidential election, is in a serious condition in hospital after being stabbed while campaigning. Bolsonaro was taken to hospital in the town of Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles (200km) north of Rio de Janeiro after he was stabbed by a man who rushed up to him while he was being carried through a crowd on the shoulders of a supporter.”
We also went through the Presidency of the Italian Republic’s official account and found there were no such statements made by the president. Moreover if one can go through the photograph of the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte one can easily understand the difference.
We also come across the video of the event, which is shared from a verified YouTube channel.
Thus going through 5 different original sources News Sense Fact Check Team has come to this conclusion that the viral image and the contents shared in English and Hindi are FAKE.
Claim: Italian PM broke down over coronavirus deaths in his country
Conclusion: The man seen crying in the picture is Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the incident has nothing to do with the Covid-19 outbreak