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‘Coronavirus is dead,” claims former Israel Health Ministry director-general

Former Israeli Health Ministry Director-General and one-time Labor MK Yoram Lass has declared the coronavirus pandemic “dead”, writing that the virus has been essentially eliminated by anti-bodies developed by people infected during the first wave.

Prof. Lass, who has long been critical of the Israeli government’s restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, wrote an open letter Friday to the Israeli Health Ministry’s new director-general, Hezy Levy, who recently replaced Moshe Bar Siman Tov.

In the letter, Lass wrote that upwards of one million Israelis have already been infected with the coronavirus, and that the ensuing herd immunity, with those infected developing antibodies to attack the COVID-19 virus, has effectively killed off the coronavirus.

“Already, between half a million to a million Israelis have already been infected by the coronavirus (about the same as seasonal diseases).”

“Everyone is health. The virus is dead (the antibodies eliminated it).”

Lass went on to criticize the Health Ministry’s use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA tests, which he said have led to a large number of false positives, as they do not distinguish between active cases of the coronavirus and residual RNA traces of infections that have already passed. Lass argued that the recent spike in positive tests of the coronavirus – what has been dubbed the ‘second wave’ of the pandemic – largely reflects inactive cases of the virus.

“The tests you are carrying out (PCR) don’t distinguish between an ‘active virus’ and a ‘dead virus’, which is not dangerous and cannot infect others.”

“In both cases, the test (which identifies the virus’ RNA, whether it is dead or alive) will come out as ‘positive’.”

“Before you close down a school or a city, conduct a ‘culture test’. Only this test can prove that the virus is alive and able to infect others.”

In March, Prof. Lass accused the media and government of exaggerating the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic, but drew criticism from some Health Ministry officials, who said Lass’ comments could mislead the public.

“I want to balance things out. The hysteria is not good, but neither is complacence,” said Dr. Asher Salmon, head of the ministry’s department of international relations.

“Someone will understand you in a way that will endanger the public health. This is not flu, there is a similarity in symptoms and it’s true that most people have it lightly, but when [coronavirus] gets bad it’s a very serious disease.”

On Thursday, Health Ministry Director-General Hezy Levy rejected Lass’ claims, adding he was unwilling to discuss the pandemic with Lass.

“I’m willing to hear criticism of the way the Health Ministry has handled the epidemic, and to sit down and discuss issues with my critics,” he said, “but not with Professor Yoram Lass.”

Source: Arutz Sheva


Yoram Lass (Hebrew: יוֹרָם לַס; born 30 January 1945) is an Israeli physician, researcher, scientist, and former politician. He served as Director-General of the Ministry of Health and was a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party between 1992 and 1996.

Born towards the end of the Mandate era, Lass earned a doctorate in medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He worked as a lecturer, and became Associate Dean of the Tel Aviv University Medical School. During the 1980s he presented the science-based television show Tatzpit with Yael Dan. He later became Director-General of the Health Ministry.

A member of the Labor Party, he was elected to the Knesset on its list in 1992. He chaired the Health Subcommittee. After leaving politics he returned to teaching at Tel Aviv University.

In 2011 founded N-UFiltration, a company dedicated to recycling of hemodialisers for various industrial and agricultural usages, as well as for providing affordable drinking water.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lass opposed the lockdown policy adopted by the government, arguing that

“I’m going to say something that’s really hard to hear. For the sake of a few people who anyways don’t have a long life expectancy, you don’t ruin a country. You don’t ruin the world. You sacrifice the people.”

“In the hospitals there are a million people hospitalized, and 5,000 of the million will die due to infection. That’s very dangerous. Its much more dangerous to die from infection in a hospital than from coronavirus. So you’re not going to go to the hospital? Normal people take risks, and certainly leaders [do].”

“The wild media is exaggerating the issue and it’s driving governments crazy. Governments are afraid of the public, the public is afraid of the governments, they feed off each other. Every time you see another crazy thing. You’ve gone crazy.”