Leading Israeli virologist and infectious disease expert slams ‘unnecessary and exaggerated panic’ about coronavirus and urges world leaders to calm public
On March 12, we wrote a story about Dr. Shiva, an MIT Biologist with four PHD degrees from the same school, after he expressed his concerns about the coronovirus and how the media has exaggerated the coronavirus outbreak to scare millions of Americans. The story quickly went viral with over two million views in just four days. Dr. Shiva said the fear mongering on coronavirus will go down as biggest fraud to manipulate economies.
Now, another expert is sounding similar alarm as Dr. Shiva did a week ago. Professor Jihad Bishara is a leading virologist and the director of the infectious diseases unit at Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Israel. In a statement on Sunday, he urged the world leaders to calm their citizens about the coronavirus pandemic. He said people are being whipped into unnecessary panic.
Prof. Jihad Bishara is not new to infectious diseases. He has been treating Jews and Arabs for 30 years. For the past few days he has been part of the team treating those ill with coronavirus at the hospital.
“Within the hospital I disengage from politics, I do my work without any connection to what’s going on outside; it doesn’t influence me during my daily work,” he says. “We are dealing with an emergency situation of a coronavirus epidemic and I am treating patients myself; we are all putting ourselves at risk to treat everyone. Doctors haven’t heard about racism; for decades I’ve been saving Jewish lives every day.
“As a citizen I’ll admit that the incitement really bothers me; they are saying intolerable things about our community, but unfortunately we’ve gotten used to it,” Bishara says. “They are saying that as a citizen I’m not good enough, that my representatives are not human beings enough to be partners in the government – but I am good enough to be at the top of the pyramid of saving lives.”
Bishara recalls that upon returning from one of his trips abroad, he was stopped for a security check at Ben-Gurion International Airport and tried to explain to the young woman at border control that he and she were partners, not enemies. “’Why are you stopping me?’ I asked her. ‘Is it for security reasons? To save Jewish lives?’ She said yes. I said, ‘Great – I’ve been doing that for decades, 24/7.’ I said it with great pride and persuasiveness. I am a doctor before anything.”