Yuli Edelstein
Yuli EdelsteinFlash 90

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein on Sunday told Radio 103FM he wouldn’t recommend canceling the mask ordinance outdoors “because the first to remove the masks will be those same people who didn’t get vaccinated, flout the instructions, and are only looking for any way to cause hindrance. Therefore at the moment, unfortunately, we are all remaining with the masks.”

"We have more than a million people who are eligible for vaccination and didn't come to get vaccinated, and we have another 2.5 million children who aren't guilty of anything - there's just no approval to vaccinate children at the moment - and therefore in this situation I don't see any reason to remove the masks - it will only increase morbidity."

Coronavirus Commissioner Nachman Ash last week had also addressed the possibility of lifting the mask ordinance outdoors, explaining to Kan News that “We want at this point at least, when we don’t know the level of the vaccine’s defense against infection - we know it protects against morbidity and serious morbidity very well, but we still don’t have data about defense against infection - to maintain another safety factor at this stage, and this is the masks, distancing and hygiene principles.”

Ash added that the importance of the mask in outdoor places is “much lower, and they can be given up” in this context, in principle. The reason they are not, he said, “is in order not to create more confusion - where yes, where no."

"Therefore it remains, but in terms of enforcement, our emphasis to police is not to enforce in places like that but only inside and, in general, the enforcement of police in this period will be geared toward quarantine, mainly the quarantine of those returning from abroad.”

In his interview this morning, Edelstein also commented on Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s description of the PM’s “obsession” with securing the vaccines, saying this “sounds like a compliment.”

He added that Bourla had noted how involved the PM had been, and how “proud” he was that Pfizer “had chosen Israel as a partner, and how much we are meeting their expectations."

“All these things only bring me more pride,” the health minister said.

Edelstein had harsh words for those whom the interviewer characterized as uneasy in feeling that Israel is less of a “partner” with and more of an “experiment-administrator” for Pfizer.

“I suggest they take a chill pill and be quiet. There is no reason to think there is a problem with an mRNA vaccine, and there is no evidence that it is dangerous. Especially now that millions of people around the world have gotten vaccinated, we cannot suddenly assume there is any danger.”

The comments come after a group of prominent doctors and scientists last week disclosed a letter they had sent to the European Medicines Agency demanding it respond to concerns over the safety of the vaccine or else withdraw their authorization.

“We note that a wide range of side effects is being reported following vaccination of previously healthy younger individuals with the gene-based COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, there have been numerous media reports from around the world of care homes being struck by COVID-19 within days of vaccination of residents. While we recognize that these occurrences might, every one of them, have been unfortunate coincidences, we are concerned that there has been and there continues to be inadequate scrutiny of the possible causes of illness or death under these circumstances, and especially so in the absence of post-mortems examinations,” they wrote in the letter.

Demanding evidence that possibilities with outcomes such as “thrombocytopenia,” “endothelial damage,” and stroke had been ruled out, the group wrote, “Should all such evidence not be available, we demand that approval for use of the gene-based vaccines be withdrawn until all the above issues have been properly addressed by the exercise of due diligence by the EMA.”

“There are serious concerns, including but not confined to those outlined above, that the approval of the COVID-19 vaccines by the EMA was premature and reckless, and that the administration of the vaccines constituted and still does constitute ‘human experimentation’, which was and still is in violation of the Nuremberg Code.”

“In view of the urgency of the situation, we request that you reply to this email within seven days and address all our concerns substantively. Should you choose not to comply with this reasonable request, we will make this letter public,” they concluded. As mentioned, the letter, dated February 28, was made public last week.