A COUNCILLOR in County Durham has claimed that Covid is a “fake virus” and said lockdown is “like living in North Korea” during a bizarre rant.
Irene Hewitson, 63, an independent member of Great Aycliffe Town Council, said she did not believe the deadly bug existed.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesIrene Hewitson, 63, an independent member of Great Aycliffe Town Council, said she did not believe Covid existedCredit: North News and Pictures
Ms Hewitson made the claim as Britain suffered its highest daily coronavirus death toll for more than five months – with a total of 45,365 people now lost their lives.
Speaking at anti lockdown rally in Durham city centre, she told ChronicleLive: "We're being locked down over a fake virus. I don't believe the virus exists.
“When my neighbours, relatives, friends and work people are dying around me then I'll believe it's true.”
We're being locked down over a fake virus. I don't believe the virus exists.
Ms Hewitson then claimed that a friend worked in a Nightingale Hospital – the emergency facilities set up around the country in case the NHS became overwhelmed – that “never had one patient”.
She alleged the hospital had instead been cleaned for six months and slammed it as “absolutely disgusting”.
The councillor was also spotted waving a flag with "TRUTH" emblazoned on it at the rally.
Her rant comes as Durham city has been ravaged by coronavirus with 616 new cases in the week ending October 16.
The historic city’s university has also been hit by an outbreak with 1,725 students and 20 members of staff at testing positive since the start of term.
Durham is in a Tier 2 lockdown meaning people from different households cannot mix together indoors or in pubs, bars and restaurants.
However, they can meet outside and in pub gardens as long as they social distance.
People must also follow national measures like wearing face masks on public transport and inside shops and adhere to social distancing.
Despite this, Ms Hewitson admitted she had never followed government advice to use hand sanitiser or wear a face mask.
Ms Hewitson said: “I think if people turned their TVs off and just took their masks off, got back to normal then the virus would be gone.
"I'm 63-year-old and I've never worn a mask, I've never used hand sanitiser and I've never had a day's illness.
"And I won't because I'm building up an immunity if there is a little tiny virus out there like the flu.
"People need to wake up fast because before long we're going to have no jobs, no social life, no life at all. It's going to be like living in North Korea."Cllr Hewitson waves a flag with "TRUTH" emblazoned on it at the anti-Covid rallyCredit: North News and Pictures