Netanyahu Is Too Busy for Coronavirus, and Israel Is the Butt of the Joke

The letter that Professor Gaby Barbash sent in the dead of night  between Wednesday and Thursday, declining the role of national coronavirus czar, is a blatant badge of shame for Israel’s handling of the crisis. He is the third candidate to give up the role in recent weeks. It only took an hour for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein to name the director of the central Tel Aviv hospital of Ichilov, Prof. Roni Gamzu, to the post, but it’s doubtful the statement will manage to overcome the poor impression left by what happened.

– Protests, pandemics and Netanyahu’s day of reckoning

LISTEN: Protests, pandemics and Netanyahu’s day of reckoningHaaretz

It took Netanyahu nearly five months to reach the obvious conclusion that the coronavirus outbreak is so unprecedented that an official had to be appointed to direct the issue on a full time basis. But even then, Netanyahu was too busy with his own issues, and Edelstein too preoccupied with attempting to justify his own authority, to give the right person the job. Although Gamzu is a man of many talents, his nomination was clearly a last minute attempt to cover up their embarrassment over Barbash’s rejection.

The whole thing is a farce; but there’s nothing funny about it, because it’s all happening at our expense. Israelis will die, simply because the government isn’t capable of getting a hold of itself and dealing with the pandemic with the seriousness that its grave ramifications for the nation’s health and economy requires.