Israel Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Litzman and his wife have tested positive for the virus, forcing Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several top government officials of the country to go into quarantine.
The Times of Israel reports Litzman ignored social distancing guidelines and in so doing endangered Israel’s leaders:
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, who tested positive for the coronavirus late Wednesday, allegedly broke his own ministry’s guidelines on social distancing by attending group prayer services in the days before he was diagnosed, a TV report said Thursday.
Litzman, Israel’s Health Minister and a follower of the Ger Hasidic dynasty, heads Agudat Yisrael, part of the United Torah Judaism alliance in the Knesset, and has been roundly criticized in Israel for his multiple failures during the coronavirus crisis.
In particular, Litzman is blamed for failing to adequately prepare Israel’s large, insular ultra-Orthodox community, of which Litzman is a member, for the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to Litzman’s failure, a group of senior medical officials in major hospitals have asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to replace Litzman as health minister with a legitimate health professional.
The doctors report that the coronavirus pandemic “has exposed and caught the healthcare system at a low point from an organizational and operational point of view, which everyone had been aware of,” before declaring:
At this time… it is right for a professional to be appointed to head the Health Ministry — a doctor with a rich experience in Israeli healthcare. Health comes before anything else, definitely before politics.
Bottom line: Israel Health Minister Yaakov Litzman has tested positive for the coronavirus.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referenced reports regarding Yaakov Litzman blaming the coronavirus pandemic on homosexuality. The validity of this attribution is in dispute, and out of an abundance of caution that element of the story has been removed.