It is no secret that the coronavirus is sweeping through a fair few Ultra-Orthodox communities, because some of the inhabitants are at best not taking it seriously and, in some cases, deliberately thumbing their noses at it thinking that G-d will bring them salvation.
One of the reasons it is no secret is that the media is all over it. Like CNN, for example, which had this on their front page recently
Some believe the media coverage is helping fuel antisemitism. I would argue the behavior of those acting so irresponsibly is.
Having said that, I feel the media bears some responsibility by:
- Focusing on the ultra-Orthodox Jews flouting the rules, to the exclusion of others
- Not reporting on instances of Jews who are not only following the rules, but are actively trying to help others
With regards to the second point, here is a story not sufficiently being covered by the mainstream media, outside of the Jewish press. I hope that changes real soon.
The Israel division of the medical device company Medtronic will provide the blueprints for its ventilators for free to companies seeking to manufacture them.
Yaron Yitzhari, the CEO of Medtronic’s Israel division, made the announcement to Israeli media network Arutz Sheva on April 1.
“Our goal is to prolong lives — to save lives, in fact,” Yitzhari said. “This is what’s needed right now, in the emergency situation we’re in, and this consideration comes before everything else.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global “demand for literally hundreds of thousands of machines, when global production usually runs to maybe a few thousand a month,” he said, adding that Medtronic already has doubled its ventilator production and is aiming to triple it in the coming weeks.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “G-d bless Israel’s Medtronic and its CEO Yaron Yitzhari for releasing its patents and sharing the know-how for its ventilators to help save countless lives worldwide!”
According to TechCrunch, Medtronic announced on March 30 it is releasing the design specifications of its Puritan Bennett (PB) 560 portable ventilator to help meet the global demand for ventilators.
Additionally on April 1, a team of more than 40 Israeli volunteers of various physicians, engineers and students released their blueprints for ventilators made from off-the-shelf components under the name AmboVent.
Here is how Fox News, for example, reported it:
Medtronic has made the design specifications for its ventilator public in an effort to increase ventilator manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dublin, Ireland-based medical technology company made the announcement Monday which is says should “enable participants across industries to evaluate options for rapid ventilator manufacturing to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19.”
Here you’d think it was by the grace of the Irish.
One could argue that the ethnicity of the decision-maker should not matter. Perhaps, but when singling out some Jews for their bad behavior, then you should balance this out with at least some stories showing those who are going above and beyond – especially during times of rising antisemitism.