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Health minister pans ‘baseless’ attacks on top expert amid reports of dispute

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Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Friday he gives top health official Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis his full backing, as she faces ongoing attacks by figures inside and outside the government.

Alroy-Preis, the ministry’s chief of public health services, has in many respects become the face of the government’s pandemic policies. She has long been vilified in anti-vaxxer and pandemic-skeptic circles, but has also faced anonymous attacks from within the cabinet for her supposed alarmist stance in deliberations.

On Friday morning Channel 12 quoted an unnamed senior government source as accusing Alroy-Preis of “crossing every line with her conduct,” claiming she “enjoys the media attention and is spreading fear and panic throughout TV studios.” The official claimed the top expert has become “addicted to doomsaying.”

Later in the day Horowitz and ministry Director-General Nachman Ash issued a joint statement in which they stressed Alroy-Preis has their “full backing” as she “works day and night” on the fight against the pandemic. While declaring openness to criticism, the two said they would “not be silent in the face of personal, baseless attacks on devoted employees.”

Horowitz added separately that “attacks on public servants are reprehensible and should be excised from Israeli political discourse.”

Tensions between health officials and cabinet members have reportedly risen in recent days, as the former have warned of the need for further restrictions on the public, while the latter have........

© The Times of Israel

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