There’s a hot rumour going that the TikTok user who has been publishing the NSW case numbers accurately was gleaming the information from the COVIDSafe app. It’s an interesting theory, except that it doesn’t add up.
Over the weekend, people on social media noticed that Jon-Bernard Kairouz‘s prediction for Monday – 109 cases – matched the total number of cases reported on Sunday for NSW on the COVIDSafe app.
— Maegen Sykes (@maegensykes) July 18, 2021
— Michael Smyth (@MichaelSmyth_) July 18, 2021
However if you look at his past predictions, Kairouz has only been ‘predicting’ the amount of new local cases in the community – a bit of info which is definitely not on the COVIDSafe app beforehand. The 109 number everyone’s pointing to is for the total number of cases, which includes those in hotel quarantine.
His prediction for last Wednesday was 97 cases. Lo and behold, NSW Health did in fact report 97 new local cases.
NSW recorded 97 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/YfNptxyua5
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 14, 2021
For Thursday, Kairouz predicted 65 cases on TikTok. Come Thursday morning, that’s exactly how many new local cases NSW Health reported.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 15, 2021
Ahead of Friday, he claimed there would be 97 cases, which NSW Health also later reported.
NSW recorded 97 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/FxVPjCCKee
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 16, 2021
Kairouz’s prediction for Saturday was 111 cases. That how many new local cases NSW Health announced on the day.
NSW recorded 111 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. pic.twitter.com/9ZgomK36re
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 17, 2021
Finally, for Sunday, Kairouz predicted 105 new cases. According to NSW Health, he was spot on.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 18, 2021
But notice how on Sunday, the state recorded 109 total new cases? This is the number everyone’s pointing to in the COVIDSafe app, because Kairouz predicted 109 new local cases for Monday.
So it’s really just a case of people confusing total new cases (which includes people in hotel quarantine) with new local cases in the community.
Speaking on KIIS FM on Monday morning, Kairouz denied these rumours, but he didn’t explain why they were wrong, either.
“I’ve gotta say, I was quite offended at how Jackie O’s putting it. I’ve put in the hard yards with the arithmetic each night, for five nights in a row, and I guess numbers don’t lie,” the TikToker said.
“A lot of people have tried to say, ‘Oh I think he’s related to Gladys,’ or he somewhat looks similar to her. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t know Gladys, I’m not related to her new Lebanese boyfriend.”
— Kyle and Jackie O (@kyleandjackieo) July 18, 2021
He’s told other journalists that he, like Homer Simpson, had a crayon dislodged from his brain which made him a genius overnight.
But most people are convinced he simply knows someone at NSW Health who has been leaking him the info the night before it’s announced.
Sometimes the most logical answer is also the least fun.