Opinion: Bennett, who claims his government should be praised for its conduct during Omicron wave, ignores Israel dropping 17 places in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking, with missing data on illness and deaths, making statistics unreliable

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett showered himself with praise in interviews over the weekend, claiming that his government’s handling of the pandemic, and especially the recent Omicron wave, was the best in the world.

But Israel’s latest dip in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking (BCRR), which has tracked the best and worst places to be during the pandemic, paints a different picture. In June, Israel was ranked fourth in the world in its handling of the health crisis, while right now it is ranked 37th out of 53 countries.

מחלקת קורונה בבית חולים בלינסון
The coronavirus ward at the Rabin Medical Center last week (Photo: Yariv Katz)


Nothing in the Bloomberg ranking can justify Bennett’s assertion that the government is doing its best job. At most, he can claim that it is not doing its worst.

In calculating its ranking, Bloomberg considers morbidity rates, impact on the economy and on businesses, restrictions on school students and adults, accessibility to vaccines and their administration, as well as other factors.

In the past year, despite its rating being slammed by many governments, Bloomberg has remained the sole measuring tool that is quoted and respected.

Bloomberg ranking
Bloomberg ranking (Photo: screenshot from Bloomberg website)


Bennett, a man of the world, must be aware of his country’s rating but prefers to ignore it.

China, for instance, opted for a policy of zero contagion at a hefty social and economic cost, which entailed a low BCRR rating.

An opposite policy, taken by other countries, which ignored the rapid spread of COVID-19, was not seen as more successful by Bloomberg and their rating was also not flattering.

Israel is nearing a point in which it will not have credible statistics to rely on, mainly because of its tumultuous testing policies. Instead of relying on the proven PCR tests, Israel has put its faith in antigen that is believed to show false positives at least 50% of the time.

A coronavirus test being performed
A coronavirus test being performed (Photo: PR)


The policies also fail to require infected Israelis to report their illness to health authorities, leading to missing data on the scope of infections, which disrupts the valid collection of statistics.

In addition, Israel has all but suspended epidemiological investigations and tracing of contagion chains and has dropped the requirement for self-isolation in many instances of exposure to the virus.

Israel has also modified its definition of a serious illness, leading to late and often mistaken reports of deaths caused by the virus. One hospital chief said all patients hospitalized with Omicron should be considered as serious because they would otherwise be treated at home.

The totality of those changes causes technical and calculation mistakes in the reported numbers of infections, presenting a picture that is far removed from reality.

בדיקות קורונה בירושלים
A child is tested for COVID in Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)


In that respect, the effort of researchers to determine trends in morbidity, including the R factor that indicates community spread, fails to provide credible information.

With so much unreported, undocumented and unknown variables, even the most qualified mathematician wouldn’t be able to present a valid analysis.

Even if the fifth wave of the pandemic is on the decline, because two-thirds of Israelis have already been infected, Israel cannot claim it is the “light for all nations” when it comes to the fight against the coronavirus. The nations appear to be the light for us.

As reported by Ynetnews