Senator Ronan Mullen raised Gript’s Zero Covid leaks in the Seanad this week, demanding to know why the group has been allowed to “scaremonger” without challenge from politicians or the media.

 

“I want to raise the so-called “Zero Covid” proposal today Cathaoirleach, this proposal for even harsher lockdown measures for the remainder of the year,” Senator Mullen said.

“A report was published recently of the internal correspondence and workings of the so-called Independent Scientific Advisory Group, which has been Pushing for Zero Covid. And this group has many members, many of whom are household names, such is the regularity of their appearances in the media.

“But their internal correspondence suggests that the group is not basing its positions on strict science, but in fact has been massaging the facts in order to entice politicians into adopting a zero Covid strategy.

“Four weeks ago, the head of the group wrote to its members asking them to “look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty” and to “go after people and not institutions” because “people hurt faster than institutions”. He stated that ridicule “is man’s most powerful weapon” and that “the threat of a thing is usually more terrifying than the thing itself”. In other words, people should be scared into accepting zero Covid.

“That correspondence reads like something out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Perhaps it is something from that book. The Social Democrats appear to have bought into the proposals. The correspondence suggests that the group has been deliberately adjusting its targets for zero Covid in order to convince that party’s leadership to subscribe to the strategy.

“All of this information is in the public domain and yet, incredibly, it has not been reported by RTÉ or in the print media. Why is such a group allowed to scaremonger without at least being challenged by politicians or the media on its internal conversations about which we now know? When a medical doctor advocates hurting people because “people hurt faster than institutions”, should that person’s views be supported by Oireachtas Members and reported uncritically in the media?