Danny Yatom
Danny YatomYonatan Sindel/Flash90

A former Israeli security chief and lawmaker excoriated the government Sunday afternoon amid reports it is planning to tap a former Health Ministry director-general to lead the efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Danny Yatom, who served as chief of the Mossad from 1996 to 1998 and as an MK from 2003 to 2008 for the Labor Party, slammed the apparent decision of the government to appoint Dr. Gabi Barbash to as chief coordinator for the government’s efforts against the coronavirus.

A physician who served as director-general of the Israeli Health Ministry in the 1990s and as the director Ichilov Medical Center from 1999 to 2015, Barbash is currently a contributor for Channel 12.

“It appears that there is another embarrassing decision by the Israeli government – appointing a doctor to lead the fight against the coronavirus, which is a terrible mistake,” said Yatom on Sunday, following reports that the Health Ministry has decided to appoint Barbash as the chief coordinator for efforts to contain the coronavirus.

“This crisis covers a lot more than just lab exams and hospital beds – it touches every ministry in the government, whose efforts need to be coordinated and overseen. There are more qualified candidates on the list. Why didn’t they respond to Eizenkot’s offer?”

Last week, former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot offered to take the position, after Major General (res.) Roni Numa refused an offer from the Health Ministry.