Israel is a light unto the nations, the world’s first responder and the startup nation. The Jewish state is known for doing more with less and exceeding beyond all reasonable expectations. It made the desert bloom, brought democracy and pluralism to the Middle East, beat back larger and better-equipped enemies, and became a global hub of technological innovation with one hand tied behind its back for 72 years. Now, Israel’s reputation for finding solutions to humanity’s most vexing challenges is shining through in its response to COVID-19.
Americans broadly recognize Israel’s unique character, history and innovative expertise. Our elected officials in Washington need to swiftly advance the bipartisan effort to appropriate $12 million in funds “to enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating and curing COVID-19.”
Israel’s private sector, armed forces, government and medical professionals are working in extraordinary partnerships that tap into a joint approach to combat COVID-19.
To speed production of ventilators and ensure availability in the poorest corner of the world, Microsoft’s Israel-based research and development facility is working with one of Israel’s emergency medical services, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and the Israeli Air Force to develop “a low-cost ventilator that can be mass-produced in labs without the need of dedicated factories.”
To decrease the need for scarce PPE resources, Leumit Health Care Services and the Israeli Defense Forces are working together “to build an innovative testing unit for carrying out COVID-19 tests without the need for protective equipment for the paramedic or nurse administering the test.”
To increase the accuracy of testing, a professor at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has developed a COVID-19 test “that produces results in under a minute and has a success rate of 90 percent.”