Former Director General of the Health Ministry Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov has recently received an offer from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return to a senior position in the government's "operations room," in charge of battling coronavirus, Ynet learned on Wednesday.
Bar-Siman-Tov was in charge of the Health Ministry when COVID-19 first broke out in Israel and oversaw the first nationwide lockdown, which managed to bring down the number of new daily cases to single digits. He quit over his alleged demands to apply draconian restrictions to contain the outbreak.
"Government officials consult with me from time to time and I tell them my opinion regarding the situation, but no concrete proposal has been made," Bar-Siman-Tov said in response.
The premier's rumored offer comes amid a deteriorating relationship with current coronavirus czar, Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who is expected to leave his post at the end of October.
Netanyahu during a cabinet meeting last week outright ignored the czar's proposal to implement a less restrictive lockdown. Those present at the meeting said that Netanyahu treated the czar with overt contempt.
On the other hand, Netanyahu's relationship with Bar-Siman-Tov during the first wave were more cordial. Their cooperation is what many see as the reason for the country's success in containing the outbreak during the first lockdown.
It should be noted the former director general had already received several offers from the private sector, but sources said he is very seriously considering taking up a governmental position due to the severity of the outbreak.