On Wednesday 26.08.2020 we received an enquiry from Aaron a reporter with the Business Post who intends to report on last weekend's protest and the general Health Freedom Ireland campaign.
Please find both his questions and our full response below:
How many people do you estimate attended last weekend's protest?
Health Freedom Ireland believe that the number is somewhere between 5k - 7k.
Was it more or less than you expected?
HFI are delighted with the turn out and that people in Ireland want the government to hear their concerns.
Do you plan to hold further events? Will they all be in Dublin?
HFI have been asked by many concerned citizens to hold another rally. The next rally has been organised as a joint event with the Yellow Vest Ireland group and will take place in Dublin on the 3rd October.
How wide do you think the support for the movement is among the general public? (I was quite surprised to see the wide range of different people who were supportive of it online in the last week)
HFI is a non-political group of volunteers. It is comprised of a diverse range of Irish citizens collaborating internationally with other concerned groups. Our primary aims are to maintain choice when it comes to vaccination, be it a new COVID-19 vaccine or an existing vaccine from the childhood schedule, and we want that choice to be fully informed, where all relevant information is presented to individuals to make the choice.
There has also been a lot of negative reaction to the protest and people who believe that what HFI is advocating is dangerous to the public health during a deadly pandemic. What do you say to that?
HFI is concerned that the government appears to be supporting the media in keeping the public in a state of fear. Worldwide SARS-CoV-2 has a greater than 99% recovery rate. This is not being conveyed to the public via Irish mainstream media, nor are the public being told that our overall death rate for the months of January to May this year was the second lowest in the last five years for the same period.
Tainiste Leo Varadkar confirmed that the death toll has been overestimated by up to 59%. We have also been told that 33% of those that died were never tested. Why have the figures not been adjusted accordingly? Is it because they fear a political backlash for terrifying people into their homes and in some cases, out of their livelihoods?
Why are the government and HSE choosing not to provide treatment options that other countries have found to show efficacy in fighting COVID-19? These and many other questions need to be answered transparently.
Are you concerned about the reaction from the health minister and justice minister to Una McGurk's involvement? Do you think this will make it more difficult to get speakers at future events?
HFI are grateful to Una McGurk for her integrity and courage in speaking at the protest and highlighting the lack of scientific data to warrant mandating the wearing of masks. Even the government's own independent advisor Prof Carl Heneghan said that the mandate was not evidence based. We do wonder whether the response from the Health Minister and the Justice Minister might be meant to deter others from questioning the government's actions. If so, this is not democratic or supporting freedom of speech.
Are you comfortable with all the groups who have given support for the movement so far? There are reports that some far-right groups were in attendance at the weekend, is that something you are happy with?
HFI is a non-political group. We are highlighting concerns that a large number of the people living in Ireland have over the government's actions in the past few months. We are inclusive and all are welcome to come to the protest.
We ask that all people in this country that share some or all of our concerns set aside any other differences they may have and unite for the common concerns that we all have in a peaceful manner. These concerns are centred around the government's disproportionate response to the health crisis. Right now we want all groups to call on the government to end the health crisis, return to the old normal and support the health of our vulnerable citizens as best we can, while providing people with the many effective treatment options that exist elsewhere for COVID-19. There is no reason to drag this on any longer.
Have you had any contact from political parties or elected politicians who want to become involved in the moment?
Again we are a non-political group. We do not have any political alignment.
How do you plan to spend the money raised through the Go Fund Me and any other fundraising drives?
HFI do not have a Go Fund Me drive. We assume that you mean Tracey O’ Mahony's (Barrister-at-Law) Go Fund Me drive in which she kindly says that any excess funds after her workplan has been delivered will be donated to HFI. If funds are donated, they will be used to help us deliver on HFI's aims which are clearly stated on our website.
Who are the people who would be described as the main organisers of HFI? Are Yellow Vest Ireland separate or part of the group?
The people within HFI are concerned parents and individuals from many diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to scientists, doctors, lawyers and parents. Many have had experience of their child being injured by vaccines. All wish for information on vaccines and medical interventions to be easily accessible to the public so that they can make informed choices for their own health and well-being.
Yellow Vest Ireland is a separate group. We have co-hosted two protests to date to speak on our common concerns around the disproportionate measures impacting people in Ireland right now.
Do you wish to comment on the violence at the protest. It seems to have been minor but the people who were involved were prepared, is that a concern for future events?
HFI is a peaceful organisation. We thank the Gardaí for their efforts to facilitate a peaceful and lawful protest.
Finally, what ultimately do you hope to achieve with the campaign?
HFI members want to highlight the following to the government:
- There are major concerns about the mandates for face coverings for public transport and relevant premises despite the advice of the government's own independent advisor who deemed it 'not evidence-based' and highlighted the 'potential harm' associated with the wearing of cloth face coverings.
- We want to ensure that the government is aware that we will not accept any coercion or mandating of a vaccine for COVID-19. Vaccines are major medical interventions that carry risks and should always be a choice.
- Irish people have majors concerns surrounding the new Health Passport and its potential uses in the future. We would like to see its use immediately decommissioned.
- We would like clarity as to why a number of treatments which have proved effective against COVID-19 are not being made available to the people of Ireland.
- We wish to seek clarity on why other testing kits using less invasive methods are not available here (despite being made in Ireland) especially with the reopening of schools and the potential for increased testing of children.
- We are calling on the government to provide clarity on the real numbers that died from COVID-19 rather than with COVID-19 and what treatment options were made available to those people.
- Health authorities in Ireland have treated a single positive result from a PCR-based test as confirmation of infection, even in asymptomatic persons without any history of exposure. This is based on a widespread belief that positive results in these tests are highly reliable. However, data on PCR-based tests for similar viruses show that PCR-based testing produces enough false positive results to make positive results highly unreliable over a broad range of real-world scenarios. How is this being accounted for in both clinical and case management as well as epidemiological statistics.
- Our ultimate message to government is that 99% of people worldwide recover. We will not accept the new normal, masks, social distancing, pods in schools, €9 meal rules, health passports, a rushed to market vaccine, constant media fear mongering etc., when the impact of these measures will have a far greater toll on the people of Ireland than the virus.
Should you have any more questions please let us know. We also ask to please be send the article before publishing so we have an opportunity to clarify or correct any points or context.
For transparency to the public, we have published your questions and our answers on our website.