מיקי זוהר רוני גמזו
Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu (L) MK Mickey Zoher (R)
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg, Dana Kopel
Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu (L) MK Mickey Zoher (R)

Coronavirus czar has no plans to quit despite attacks by government officials

Prof. Ronni Gamzu tells Ynet politicians 'haven't internalized the hardships' of battling the pandemic and says he doesn't understand the attacks on him over his support for Ukraine's ban of Jewish pilgrims

Adir Yanko |
Published: 08.27.20, 11:30
Israel's coronavirus czar told Ynet on Thursday he is not considering resigning from his position despite the recent attacks launched against him by some government officials.
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  • Prof. Ronni Gamzu came under attack by several MK's in recent days, in particular by Likud party chair MK Mickey Zohar, over the czar's support of the Ukraine's government decision to ban thousands of Jewish pilgrims from travelling to the city of Uman.
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    מיקי זוהר רוני גמזו
    מיקי זוהר רוני גמזו
    Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu (L) MK Mickey Zoher (R)
    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg, Dana Kopel )
    In an interview with Ynet, Gamzu said politicians do not fully understand the difficulty of battling the pandemic.
    "Government ministers haven't internalized the hardships faced by the public, the complexity of reducing the number of infections in cities and making the public see the actions meant to reduce the contagion are necessary, because they [the actions] are suffocating," he said.
    "During the global coronavirus crisis officials have to make difficult and complex decisions. I fail to understand this attack by MK Zohar. The public expects for decisions be made rather than outlines. I do not want to cut corners regarding the crisis."
    3 View gallery
     Ultra-Orthodox pilgrims in Uman before the pandemic
     Ultra-Orthodox pilgrims in Uman before the pandemic
    Ultra-Orthodox pilgrims in Uman before the pandemic
    (Photo: Yitzhak Alman)
    According to Gamzu, he does not believe the recent attack made by Zohar had been made on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like some suggested.
    "It is true the prime minister did not reject the outlines proposed by Breslov's followers, but in the end, I decide from a professional standpoint," said Gamzu. "This is how the coronavirus crisis is managed – through a global relationship between professionals."
    Prof. Gamzu added he believes the demands of Housing Minster Yaakov Litzman for his resignation over his call to ban Jewish pilgrims from travelling to Ukraine hold no merit "other than to create headlines."
    The czar also said the school year is set to reopen next week as planned except for communities with an exceptionally high coronavirus infection rate. "This was my recommendation and going by the last cabinet meeting, it seems my recommendation will be implemented. Unfortunately, no final decision has been made as of yet."
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    סיגל סדצקי שרון אלרעי
    סיגל סדצקי שרון אלרעי
    Dr. Sharon Elrai (L) Prof. Siegal Sadetzki (R)
    (Photo: Dana Kopel)
    Prof. Gamzu added that his "Traffic light" outline - which would see more coronavirus tests conducted in "red" cities with high infection rates - will reveal more patients than previously assessed once the plan is approved by the government.
    He also praised the appointment of Dr. Sharon Elrai as interim head of the public health service, replacing Prof. Siegal Sadetzki.
    "Sharon Elrai is a breath of fresh air," said Gamzu. "She works 24/7 unlike Sadetzki, and that's always good… She shows the complexity and has the drive to conquer this issue of epidemiological investigations."

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