Francis named Roberto Bernabei, 69, as his new personal doctor on February 24.
He is the director of the Department of Geriatrics and Rehabilitative Medicine at the Catholic Gemelli University Hospital in Rome, and served as the president of the Italian Society of Gerontology from 2006 to 2009.
His research interests are in geriatric assessment, models of health services for elderly care, and geriatric pharmacoepidemiology.
In November 2020, Bernabei said that the Covid-19 flu was “very simple” because in order to die from it a person needs to be over eighty and suffer from three associated diseases.
He added that 30% of the Covid-19 infections regard those who are 70 or older, “These 30% make 90% of the Covid deaths.”
Bernabei's father Ettore was a famous director general of the Italian State TV RAI. Roberto is the second husband of the Jewish born American actress Sydney Rome, a convert to the Church.