Israel’s Health Ministry removed a video promoting sanitation for the coronavirus pandemic after a complaint was filed by the Chinese Embassy, the JPost reported on Thursday.
The comedic video, posted in honor of Tu B’Av, features comedian Yossi Gavni playing a cupid-esque character named COVID, like COVID-19, spreading coronavirus instead of spreading love.
The video begins with the main character saying: “Hi, my name is COVID, 19, from the center of the country, originally from Wuhan in China. Made in China, but functions well!”
In response, China’s Embassy in Israel complained to the Foreign Ministry. The embassy told The JPost that the video’s claim that coronavirus is made in China “is egregious and unfounded.”
“It is a scientific consensus that the COVID-19 is originated from nature and is not man-made,” the embassy’s spokesman said. “China firmly opposes any remarks that exploit the issue of the origin of virus for stigmatization.”
The Health Ministry subsequently removed the video from its site and Facebook page in light of a request from the Foreign Ministry.
Unfortunately for China, the video has already been widely shared on social media and is still circulating online.
In the Health Ministry’s defense, the end scene featured Gavni ordering a pizza asking that one side be topped with bats and the other pangolin.