Italy’s staggering virus toll poses uncomfortable questions

ROME (AP) — Italy could soon reclaim a record that nobody wants. The most coronavirus deaths in Europe. Italy is still trying to figure out how to protect its vulnerable elderly. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Italy, the first country in the West slammed by COVID-19, saw its death toll spike in the spring amid public health shortfalls and lockdown restrictions that came too late. Yet it had the benefit of time and experience heading into the fall outbreak, trailing Spain, France and Germany in recording big new infection clusters. Still, Italy failed to keep the virus under control, adding nearly 29,000 dead since Sept. 1. It now has over 64,000 virus-related deaths, a few dozen less than Britain.