It appears that the Coronavirus has just made an innovative and unwanted enemy. Dr. Daniel Gold, the inventor behind the Israeli defense system, Iron Dome, is now on the job, searching for what he described to AFP as a "game-changer" in the battle against COVID-19.
Gold brought a "game-changer" once before
Gold who has a knack for safeguarding Israel, proven by the 2011 deployment of his invention that protects the Israeli skies from projectiles and missiles. With PhDs in electrical engineering and business management, Gold heads Israel's Defense Research and Development Directorate.
With the Coronavirus spread resulting in strict government regulations, cities seem empty, which reminded Gold of the early 90s when Saddam Hussein's missile threat emptied the streets of Tel Aviv. He already knew back in '91 that Israel was in dire need of a missile defense system.
After bringing a variety of solutions to the table as head of R&D for the Ministry of Defense, Gold's defense system was shot down repeatedly by the government until the Iron Dome system was finally approved. "I told my superiors, give me the money. I will do it... the entire hierarchy said no. The government said no."
At the time Gold's focus was on creating a defense that would allow people fundamental freedoms like going to work or school while rockets showered down from the heavens. Which brings us to present day, as Gold now once again faces an existential crisis that needs some sort of defense system. This dawned on him while meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in early March, suddenly realizing the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis.
How is he going to tackle the Coronavirus challenge?
His department is currently focusing on 3 different areas of the COVID-19 crisis: "crucial life-saving", including local production of critical medical devices like ventilators; helping Israeli hospitals and medical centers prepare for the onslaught of infected patients; and the final area which he has coined as a "game-changer".
The latter will take form largely as a COVID-19 testing tool aimed at using breath, smell, and AI to produce accurate test results in under a minute. By combining efforts from both the private and public sectors, various solutions are already in different stages of development.
While Dr. Gold is once again tasked with protecting the Israeli people, he also notes that any innovative breakthroughs regarding different aspects of Coronavirus solutions could lead to newfound relations between previously untied countries. Just for example, Israel and the UAE, who have never been the best of friends, have entered a partnership in an attempt to develop antivirus technologies. This goes to show that in the face of global damnation unitinig for a common cause can result in not only new bridges and relations but a needed cooperation to beat the pandemic together.