A full-page advert, criticising Covid-19 restrictions and published in today’s Irish Times is causing quite a stir. The advert, addressed “To Our Leaders”, was funded by Moorezy Holdings Limited, with a registered address in Dublin 4. The ad is believed to be the brainchild of tech entrepreneur John Moore. Mr Moore founded 3D4Medical, a medical technology company. Sold for almost €50 million last year, the venture made a cool €24 million for Moore personally. Listing a series of facts which it claims to have taken from “Irish government websites”, the ad contends that few young or non-medically vulnerable people are seriously affected by Covid-19 and that broad public health restrictions are not the best way to go.
“Surely there is another way to take care of the few who are vulnerable while letting our economy and future survive?” the ad asks before linking to the website of “The Great Barrington Declaration”, an online petition calling for restrictions to be lifted for that part of the population that is not particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. The petition promotes the so-called “herd immunity” strategy. WHO head Tedros Ghebreyesus recently said that, without a vaccine, the pursuit of herd immunity was “scientifically and ethically problematic”.
Commenting on the advert, Irish infectious diseases expert Professor Sam Mc Conkey said that so far, herd immunity had never been developed outside of a widespread vaccination programme, calling the plan promoted by the advert an “unproven hypothesis”. “Not only does herd immunity not exist, individual immunity may not exist.”
Mr Moore claims to have no links to the organisation behind the petition linked in the ad he funded. “I’m just a concerned citizen, I’m not attached to any organisation. I don’t want to give an opinion, and people can interpret the facts…I’m only an entrepreneur. I’m not an elected official,” he said.