A TikTok comedian whose run of predicting New South Wales’ daily new Covid-19 cases came to an abrupt halt has bizarrely claimed Premier Gladys Berejiklian changed Monday’s figures in a bid to discredit him.
Social media personality Jon-Bernard Kairouz became an overnight celebrity by accurately forecasting how many cases there would be in NSW for five straight days.
His run ended on Monday amid claims NSW Health had deliberately fed him incorrect data to identify his source.
Mr Kairouz has repeatedly insisted he uses complex maths equations to predict the new figures and doesn’t rely on a mole inside the health department.
He incorrectly forecast on Sunday night there would be 109 cases the next day, which differed from the 98 cases Ms Berejiklian announced at 11am Monday.
Mr Kairouz claimed health officials may have tweaked the figures to prove him wrong, and confidently claimed there would be 76 new cases recorded on Tuesday.
He also claimed a public servant had been wrongly sacked by the NSW Government over his videos.
Ms Berejiklian announced 78 new Covid cases on Tuesday, leaving Mr Kairouz red-faced with a second wrong prediction.
Social media personality Jon-Bernard Kairouz became an overnight celebrity by accurately forecasting how many cases there would be in NSW for five straight day
‘Some have said that the numbers were changed to discredit the maths,’ he told Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa show on Tuesday morning.
‘Nothing to do with your calculations?’ co-host Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli asked him.
‘As I said five from six really speaks for itself. I’m pretty certain it was six from six,’ Mr Kairouz said.
‘So you think Gladys may have lied just to trump you?’ Wippa asked.
‘I believe so,’ the comedian replied.
Mr Kairouz also said he still backs his ‘maths to the hills’ as he accused the state government of putting out the wrong figures to ‘trump’ him.
‘That is quite sad because they’ve sent booby-traps for a local comedian who is doing maths,’ the western-Sydney based comic said.
Mr Kairouz has claimed health officials may have tweaked the latest figures to prove him wrong after he inaccurately forecast Monday’s figures for the first time in six days
Mr Kairouz incorrectly forecast on Sunday night there would be 109 cases the next day – when there were actually 98 new infections on Monday
Pictured: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Mr Kairouz’s incredible run ended on Monday amid claims NSW Health had deliberately fed him incorrect data to identify his source
‘Some poor bastard has been sacked and I feel for him because I was just doing arithmetic and they’ve set this high-level surveillance on him.’
He also denied another theory that he was using the federal government’s Coronavirus Australia app to calculate how many cases there would be in NSW.
‘I’m being completely upfront with you guys, I wasn’t getting it from either [the app or an inside source],’ he said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard was on Monday asked whether NSW Health used a ‘sting’ to foil Mr Kairouz and make him predict the wrong number.
‘Absolutely not,’ he responded. ‘There was no sting, we are not chasing people, but the figures will [now] be distributed on a needs to know basis.’
The change reflected a growing concern within the government that Mr Kairouz’s videos posed a threat to public health.
Mr Hazzard denied the issue was discussed at cabinet level, but said he spoke to the heath department about the need to restrict access to cases data.
‘Clearly 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,’ he said.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford earlier told Seven’s The Morning Show that a ‘witch hunt’ was conducted inside NSW Health to find the leak.
‘My information is… that they set traps for him, and they may have borne fruit,’ he said. ‘They may have now found the person that it is.’
The prankster claimed on Channel Ten’s The Project on Sunday he and his brothers calculate the figures by using the ‘Kairouz probability algorithm’.
When pressed by the show’s host Jan Fran about how he does it, Kairouz said it just comes down to simple maths.
‘We are quite lucky as not all complex calculus has one given solution, but we’ve been lucky to get five in a row and we could possibly get Michael Jordan numbers tomorrow,’ Kairouz said, referring to the US basketball great’s six championships.
In his viral social media clips, Kairouz is often seen drawing nonsense diagrams, statistics, and equations on a whiteboard before giving his eerily accurate predictions.
‘The diagrams are called homoeomorphic irreducible trees and that is combined with all the other variables we include such as the diameter of Fairfield and the circumference of southwest Sydney,’ he told the panel while holding a gold wrestling belt over his shoulder.
‘We also take into account the infectious community cases and then we can deduce a concrete figure we are happy to push out to the public.’
Fellow comedian and host Tommy Little admitted he’s a big fan of the young man’s shtick.
When pressed by the show’s host Jan Fran about how he does it, Kairouz (pictured) said it just comes down to simple maths
‘I love the belt and I love the People’s Premier,’ Little said.
‘I think we can all agree you are full of s**t on this maths thing but to be honest I don’t care.’
Pictured: Jon-Bernard Kairouz
Two days earlier Gladys Berejiklian was questioned at a press conference on whether NSW Health had a leak and if she was concerned.
‘I know at the moment a lot of people alleged to have various bits of information and that’s welcome, we are in democracy,’ she said.
But as the speculation grows about how he’s able to come up with his seemingly magic numbers, Kairouz said he’s just trying to enjoy the process and his new-found notoriety.
‘I’m having a ball,’ he said.
‘I’ve been creating content on Instagram and TikTok for just about a year now and to grow exponentially on the social platforms has been really fun and it’s been a whirlwind of a week.’
Kairouz had been making his daily prediction about 10.30pm most nights.
NSW Health officials collate each day’s number of positive cases up until 8pm – giving him two-and-a-half hours to hear from any source.