Anti-vaxxer Rabbi's COVID Remarks 'Dangerous and Misleading,' Israel's Health Ministry Warns

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Rabbi Yuval Hacohen Asherov
Rabbi Yuval Hacohen AsherovCredit: Screenshot from Facebook

The Health Ministry released a public warning on Sunday against Rabbi Yuval Hacohen Asherov, asserting that his statements against the coronavirus vaccine are dangerous.

Asherov, who says he deals in “the wisdom of the Kabbalah and natural heath,” recently posted a video clip where he falsely claims that the COVID-19 vaccine damages fertility and can be fatal. The clip has gotten hundreds of thousands of hits and a great deal of attention, although it negates scientific knowledge about the vaccine.

the public, the Health Ministry notes that Asherov is not licensed to practice medicine or any other health profession, nor is he licensed to practice physical therapy, as was reported in some media outlets.

“The misleading information given by him or in his publications cannot guide the public in anything having to do with the coronavirus and cannot be taken as a recommendation or instruction with medical value,” the committee wrote.

A coronavirus patient and a medical worker at Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center, this month.Credit: אוהד צויגנברג

According to the document, people who take action based on Asherov’s publications might conduct themselves in a manner that fails to protect them or reduce infection, and “endanger themselves and their families, the people around them and the public.” In so doing, the committee stated, Asherov’s statements “are dangerous and misleading to public and private health.”

The warning also stated that Asherov has conveyed false information about the coronavirus pandemic. All over the world, the ministry committee said, physicians are studying the pandemic and learning about the changes in it, while Asherov ignores the expert, continually updated information as well as “the testimony of the [medical] teams, of the families who have seen their loved ones dying before their very eyes, and of people who were sick and managed to emerge from the [illness] and turn to physical and psychological rehabilitation, as well as the possible risk and future damage in the long term, and ... irresponsibly misleads and endangers his listeners.”

The committee stated that many different groups of people – including those in assisted living facilities, cancer patients, people living in environs where the risk of infection is high, pregnant women, people who already suffer from compromised immunity and others might listen and rely on what Asherov says because he is “a rabbi and a man of knowledge, when his statements have no basis in fact.”

The Health Ministry document gives examples of false, dangerous statements Asherov has said: “This monster called corona is nothing and no more than ordinary flu”; “Most of the people who carry the virus are not sick; the body knows how to heal everything by itself without outside intervention”; “We shouldn’t get too excited, it will pass by itself”; “This isn’t a pandemic”; “Corona doesn’t make an illness, what kills is the toxicity.”

The Health Ministry document ends with a response to Asherov’s call not to be inoculated, saying, “A great deal of evidence of the effectiveness of inoculation in reducing severe illness has been collected, studied by competent authorities and experts overseas and in Israel, both in preliminary research and over the past few weeks – from tens of millions of people, including millions in Israel.”

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