BRITISH doctor Christian Jessen caused outrage in Italy nearly two weeks ago when he commented that Italians were taking advantage of the coronavirus work closures for a “long siesta.”
Jessen is a TV personality and host of popular show Embarrassing Bodies. His controversial statement came during an interview for FUBAR radio. During the interview, he brands the coronavirus lockdown as “a bit of an excuse,” conceding however that, “this might be a little bit racist to say this.”
“The Italians,” he says, “any old excuse to, you know, shut down everything and stop work for a bit and have a long siesta.” He continued by saying, “This is like a bad cold really, let’s be honest.”
Jessen has now taken to Twitter to apologise for his comments stating:
“Regarding my comments about the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and its impact on Italy:
“I got this one very wrong – I tried to alleviate more panic setting in however, in hindsight, I recognise my flippant remark was insensitive and I must apologise for any upset I have caused. I understand why it was offensive and I hope I can make it up to you in future.
“As a doctor, it’s my job to be honest and to try and bring light into people’s lives. I would like to assure you that my thoughts are with everyone affected by the virus, and to those who are working extremely hard to help everyone get through this difficult time.
“If you’re in a position to do so, you can help fight coronavirus by donating to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO here: https://covid19responsefund.org/.”
— Dr Christian Jessen (@DoctorChristian) March 17, 2020