Michael O’Leary accuses NPHET of  “variant-scariant’ narrative

Outspoken CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, has accused NPHET of putting out a “variant-scariant narrative” which he says “will be shown to have been completely bogus”. 

Leary made the comments in an open letter to Minister Eamon Ryan and in an interview with Newstalk’s Hard Shoulder.

He took aim at what he perceived as the government’s mis-management of the aviation industry during the ongoing Covid lockdown.

“This ongoing mismanagement of air transport by the Irish Government is doing untold damage to our economy and tourism infrastructure as we lag ‘Paddy last’ behind every other EU country, all of whom have opened up to these EU COVID certs and are taking advantage of the success of their vaccination programmes,” he wrote. The new EU Digital COVID Certificate was rolled out across every EU member state on Thursday, apart from Ireland, with the delay caused by the HSE hack according to the government.

And he hit out at NPHET over continued restrictions, claiming that: “the Delta variant doesn’t deliver big rises in hospitalisations, serious illnesses or deaths”.

“I was in Brussels on Tuesday of this week, it was a different world,” he said. “I had a meal in a restaurant, the bars are open, they have similar vaccination rates to Ireland. “People are wearing masks in public, but there’s almost no restrictions on people moving around or on flights in and out of Brussels.”

O’Leary seemed to echo the assessment from popular commentator, Ivor Cummins, who has been critical of NPHET and the continued lockdown. In a video released this week, Cummins described the narrative around the Delta variant as “political scariant.”

 

Using data from the UK, Cummins claimed that hospitalisations did not rise as the Delta variant came to dominate the Covid cases recorded in that country. He asserted that Delta was not a deadly variant but a political scariant.

However, NPHET have claimed that an extension of the Covid restrictions are required due to the nature of the Delta variant.

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