Well. This is awkward. According to a report by Axios, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have addressed government officials on the topic of the coronavirus by … showing footage from a Hallmark Channel disaster TV series. A pair of Netanyahu’s cabinet ministers told Axios that the legally embattled PM “shared with his cabinet a video he claimed was evidence of Iran concealing coronavirus deaths by dropping bodies in garbage dumps,” before Netanyahu’s office realized “several hours later” that they were actually looking at a clip from the 2007 show Pandemic starring Tiffani Thiessen. (She plays a CDC doctor trying to stop a bird-flu outbreak in Los Angeles.)
According to Axios, Israeli intelligence reportedly believes Iran is concealing the country’s real COVID-19 death total, and Pandemic footage was seen as an example of the cover-up. The prime minister is said to have told his ministers he saw video of Iranian soldiers disposing of bodies, and that it was brought to his attention by national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat. Cabinet members naturally asked to see the video, which had been passed around on Iranian social media, and it was then “passed on to Netanyahu without any confirmation of its authenticity.” The PM’s office has not denied the footage was shown, and we can only wonder if the clip viewed by the cabinet included Faye Dunaway, French Stewart, or Eric Roberts, who also co-star in the movie, and if everyone just failed to recognize any of them.