Man Who Kept Accurately Predicting Number Of COVID Cases Caught In Alleged Sting
A TikTok user who managed to correctly and repeatedly predict the number of new coronavirus cases in New South Wales has been caught out in what some people are describing as a ‘sting’ by the government.
Over five consecutive days last week, Jon-Bernard Kairouz took to TikTok to correctly predict the number of coronavirus cases that would be reported in NSW the following day, before officials had the chance to break the news themselves.
The impressive streak prompted social media users to come up with theories surrounding the predictions, one of which was that Kairouz had an informant who worked with the government and was able to pass on the numbers before they were announced to the public.
Kairouz, on the other hand, argued his figures were based on ‘simple maths’, but his claim came into question on Monday when NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed there were 98 new cases of coronavirus in the state – not 109, as Kairouz had predicted the day before.
Check out his prediction below:
@jonbernardkNumber Of Cases Tomorrow, Monday The 19th Of July ##fyp ##sydneylockdown♬ original sound – Jon-Bernard Kairouz 🎤
The TikToker’s fall from grace prompted the belief that the government had set up a ‘sting’ in order to catch him in the act, presumably with the belief that officials had shared false numbers in order to figure out who he had been in contact with.
However, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Monday the source actually came to light following an internal review of how case data was being stored in NSW Health’s systems.
Per The Australian, he commented:
Can I say it was a disappointment that something as serious as our messaging to the community in a pandemic, clearly someone somebody in the system was feeling the need to disclose those figures to somebody who was not an appropriate person to be making commentary about it.
And so, Health looked at the issues around that, I saw someone saying on social media that it was a sting, no it wasn’t.
It was looking at what the issues were and making sure that the system was such that the information could be kept to the appropriate time with messaging to the community … in terms of us giving the important message which goes out at 11 o’clock each day, in a way that the community understands the significance of what we are asking people to do, to keep people safe.
In a post on social media following Monday’s announcement, Kairouz joked that the government’s coronavirus figures were a rouse to ‘discredit’ him.
The TikToker shared a tweet in the style of a political statement, which read: ‘The number confirmed today by the NSW government/health was given solely to discredit me and my mathematical genius.’
Kairouz further stated the government claimed to have ‘captured the person supposedly leaking the information, through high level surveillance and trapping’, adding that the move ‘just disrespects the hard work and mathematical process conducted by my brothers and I.’
He went on to say he had been ‘clear’ there was no source, with a disclaimer at the bottom of his statement making clear it was for ‘comedic purposes only’ and that people looking for health advice should visit the NSW government website.
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