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Bennett meets top health officials after public rift over COVID comments

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz visits  Ziv Medical Center in the northern city of Safed, on August 24, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz visits Ziv Medical Center in the northern city of Safed, on August 24, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets top health officials after a public rift emerged this week over the government’s COVID-19 approach.

Bennett meets with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Health Ministry director general Nachman Ash, head of the ministry’s public health services, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, and coronavirus czar Salman Zarka, says the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The prime minister and the health minister stressed during the conversation that they give great importance to the position of the professional officials, even when it differs from the position of the policy-makers,” says the PMO.

The statement claims that “there was no disagreement” between the two sides, and that Bennett “made it clear to the participants that the close cooperation that has characterized the fight against the coronavirus so far will continue.”

During a briefing with Israeli journalists in New York earlier this week, Bennett accused the medical experts advising the government of “not seeing the full picture,” and said that they don’t make the final decisions — the government does. Horowitz called the comments “unnecessary and unfortunate,” and Ash said the words were unexpected and “unpleasant.”

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