Israel had the coronavirus under control. What happened?
For months, Israel appeared to be an international model of coronavirus success.
With early travel restrictions and sweeping closures, the Startup Nation had largely contained the spread of Covid-19, recording a mortality rate that was far better than many countries in the Western world. As coronavirus tore across the United States and Europe, Israel was comfortably moving towards reopening.
Lest there be any doubt about who led the country through these difficult times, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu routinely held evening press conferences to remind everyone, warning about the newest challenges and taking credit for the latest victories.
On April 18, almost exactly two months after Israel discovered its first case of coronavirus, Netanyahu declared that the country had succeeded in its fight against coronavirus, setting an example for the world “in safeguarding life and blocking the outbreak of the pandemic.” He predicted Israel would set an example in restarting the economy as well.
If only the story ended there.
Israel’s first wave of coronavirus was a success story, but the second wave its health experts are cataloguing appears to be on track for a very different ending.