Coronavirus czar: The High Holy Days terrify me

He made clear that he is not considering locking down Bnei Brak because he does not have faith in the mayor or the residents, but because the infection rate is too high.

CORONAVIRUS ‘CZAR’ Prof. Ronni Gamzu is under fire from Israel’s politicians. How much longer will he stay on? (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
CORONAVIRUS ‘CZAR’ Prof. Ronni Gamzu is under fire from Israel’s politicians. How much longer will he stay on?
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu said he feels like he is “attacked with artillery” for trying to cure the country of the novel coronavirus, which will likely involve closures of cities with high infection rates.
In one of his most impassioned speeches, Gamzu appealed to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Knesset members, stating that the “upcoming High Holy Days are terrifying” and that a nationwide closure is still on the table, though he does not want to think that way.
“Some people say he’s crazy,” Gamzu said of how people refer to him. “How does one catch coronavirus from school? How does he come up with this traffic light plan? 
“Well, at the end of the day, the responsibility lies with me,” Gamzu said. “I see the struggling society, the people who want to return to their normal lives, whose businesses have collapsed. Of course, I see Arab society and the ultra-Orthodox.”
He said that part of the problem is that the country has not addressed these communities for years and that the coronavirus is attacking sectors of Israel that were already in difficult socioeconomic situations. 
“It is in front of my eyes,” he continued. “I am not exactly looking to make it more difficult for these places.”
Gamzu reminded the room that he is trying to stave off a total, national lockdown. He said that there are those who say he will have no choice.
“We must bite our lips and try to distance ourselves from this,” he said, noting the deplorable economic impact this could have on the country.
“I am fired at with artillery,” he claimed. “You have never seen anything like it… [Sensitive people] could not stand-up to it… Others would not stand for it.
“It’s organized and it's meant to weaken me,” he added.
But he said he will not walk away so easily.

He made clear that he is not considering locking down Bnei Brak because he does not have faith in the mayor or the residents, but because the infection rate is too high. It is because students went back to school on the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul and because of the many yeshivas. 
“Until 10 days ago, I said, ‘Walla! Bnei Brak is functioning OK.’ I visited there. I said, ‘Well done.’ But in the last 10 days, I am uncomfortable. Understand this: It is not a punishment.”
Today, he said, the country stands at around 44,000 tests per day. By November 1, that number will be 60,000 and soon after 100,000 tests per day. But he said it is not just about the number of tests; by winter, the goal has to be no more than hundreds of sick patients per day.