(Washington, D.C. – March 17, 2020) On the occasion of the 159th anniversary of Italian Unity, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) stands in solidarity with Italy as the country combats the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. Currently as the second country in the world to have the most reported cases, the world is closely watching what is happening in Italy as well as the country's response in efforts to contain the disease.
"As the unified voice for the Italian American community, and as Americans deal with the impact of the coronavirus as well, we send our prayers to our Italian 'family' with hope that we can meet this global challenge before more lives are lost," said NIAF Chairman Patricia de Stacy Harrison. "We urge everyone to heed the advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who reminds us that to 'flatten' the escalation of the virus, we must limit personal exposure and remain home when possible."
United States and Italian government officials and public health experts are making a concerted effort to address the pandemic and protect individuals most vulnerable to the disease. The U.S. Department of State, the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the White House, JFCNP, and NIAF are actively working together to help contain the virus.
"We are all in this together. Italy is testing thousands of people for free. The major challenge now is to stop the virus from spreading further," said Italy's Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio.
"We need each other, wherever we are, to work together to guarantee on behalf of the United States and Italy that what we do leads to the best, safest possible outcome," said United States Ambassador to Italy Lewis Eisenberg. "We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will continue to share updates with the public."
"NIAF shares the sentiments expressed by Admiral James Foggo, Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP)," said Chairman Harrison. "During a public announcement on March 13, the Admiral quoted one of his favorite books, Naples 1944. He said, that it is easily applied not to just Neapolitans but to Italians everywhere: 'Yet over the chaotic din, of the essential dignity of the Neapolitan people, whose traditions of civility, courage, and generosity of spirit, shone through on a daily basis in a very difficult situation.'"
The Foundation continues to express concerns for citizens in Italy, in the United States and worldwide as we unite to combat this deadly pandemic.
Read important information regarding the facts, myths and hypotheses about the COVID-19 from Enrico Bucci, Ph.D., from the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, and Michele Carbone, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu: .
The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit .