The TikTok comedian who developed a cult following for predicting NSW’s daily Covid count has been charged by police for attending an anti-lockdown rally.
Jon-Bernard Kairouz, 24, was one of 3,500 who attended an illegal protest in Sydney’s CBD on Saturday and was filmed addressing the large crowd on a megaphone.
NSW police have set up Strike Force Seasoned to track down all those present at the protest, now feared by health officials as a potential coronavirus super-spreader.
More than 200 alleged attendees have been identified so far, including Kairouz.
NSW police released footage of investigators attending a house in Belmore in south-west Sydney on Sunday where Kairouz was filmed while speaking to police, he was wearing a NSW Blues Origin jersey.
Kairouz was given a notice of presence in court for two counts of non-compliance with the notification direction – COVID-19 and encouraging the commission of crimes.
He will appear in Bankstown court on September 14.
TikTok comedian Jon-Bernard Kairouz was seen on Saturday firing the anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney’s CBD.
Kairouz was filmed during Saturday’s protest holding a megaphone and proclaiming himself “Prime Minister of the People” while driving a crowd of thousands to frenzy outside City Hall on Saturday.
“All we want is freedom,” he shouted to a roar from the crowd, before sharing clips of the speech on his Instagram.
But the stunt quickly backfired, with followers wondering why he joined thousands of protesters and risked extending the city’s lockdown.
“This is fucking ridiculous,” one wrote. “If your goal is freedom, you’ve screwed up bringing thousands of people together. Note the peak. Congrats!’
‘There are people in the ICU, how selfish can you be?’ added one more.
Jon-Bernard Kairouz was charged with failing to comply with Covid-19 notice instructions and encouraging the commission of crimes
Kairouz rose to fame during the Sydney lockdown after correctly reporting how many cases NSW would announce five times in a row the following morning.
His streak ended last Monday with his prediction of 109 past the actual figure of 98.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was a ‘disappointment…someone somewhere in the system’ thought it necessary to leak the numbers to Mr Kairouz.
“I saw someone on social media say it was a sting. No, it wasn’t,” Hazzard told reporters Monday.
‘It was looking at what the problems were and making sure the system was such that the information could be stored at the right time.’
NSW, which counts cases for a period from 24 hours to 8pm, releases numbers and the context of each case at 11am daily.
Kairouz has repeatedly insisted that his predictions are the result of “simple math”, but has not released a single video since his suspected leak in the NSW Health department was revealed.
Gladys Berejiklian was recently asked at a press conference if NSW Health had a leak and if she was concerned.
“Right now I know a lot of people who would have all kinds of information and that’s welcome, we live in a democracy,” she said.
When asked about his newfound stardom on social media, Kairouz said he was just trying to enjoy the process and his newfound fame.
“I have a ball,” he said.
“I’ve been creating content on Instagram and TikTok for about a year now and growing exponentially on the social platforms has been a lot of fun and a whirlwind.”
Police have received more than 5,500 reports from members of the public as they further investigate Saturday’s protest.
Of the 63 people arrested during the protest, 35 were charged with various offences.
Twenty of them appeared in Parramatta local court on Sunday, where 15 were released on bail to appear at a later date in Downing Center and Newtown local courts.
Since then, on Sunday, the detectives issued two more court attendance notices and public breach notices to a further 16 people, including Kairouz.
Kairouz accurately predicted the count of NSW Covid figures for five days in a row, before his suspected source in NSW Health was revealed