Covid deniers posters in Whalley are a 'kick in the teeth' to all dedicated NHS staff

Councillors and police have hit out at covid deniers and vandals who have placed conspiracy theory posters across noticeboards and shopfronts in Whalley.

By Faiza Afzaal
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 12:30 pm

The shopfronts of small businesses have been targeted, alongside the village noticeboard and signs for the local Co-Op shop.

Many of the stickers, which vary in size and design, have been placed over genuine coronavirus information posters placed in shop windows - brandishing the pandemic a "lie" and a "conspiracy"'.

The vandalism has angered Whalley councillor Mark Hindle, who claims the messages are not only offensive and scandalous, but a kick in the teeth to all dedicated NHS staff.

The posters have appeared in the village's shopfronts and noticeboards upsetting lots of people

Coun. Hindle, who is also a pathology incident director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: "I am dismayed by the posters and stickers that have been placed over the village centre.

"As well as a councillor, in my day job I am responsible for the strategic coordination and delivery of testing for Covid-19. I have seen first hand the devastating consequences of this infection and the effects it has had on my NHS colleagues as they battle every day to help and support people who are infected. Whoever posted these stickers should be ashamed of themselves and I ask them not to undermine our fantastic efforts to vaccinate people. If this puts doubts in one person's mind, it could have catastrophic consequences."

Also upset by the act is Whalley and Billington councillor Ged Mirfin. He said: "The people who did this ought to be ashamed of themselves. They need to take a long hard look at the implications of the message they are communicating . If just one person is convinced not to get vaccinated and becomes seriously ill or dies as a consequence then they will be partly to blame. Don’t get me wrong I am a supporter of free speech and consider this to be a fundamental right in a democracy. Free speech should not be unfettered, however, and when what is said is based on the worst kind of nonsensical baseless conspiracy theory, which cannot be substantiated or proven by recourse to legitimate evidence in any way, shape or form it becomes dangerous particularly to vulnerable who might be taken in by this rubbish when they are at a low ebb."

He added: "I urge those who have not already done when they receive notification from their GP to go and get vaccinated. Vaccination is the quickest and surest route out of this dreadful pandemic. The more anti-vaccers and Covid-deniers continue to propagate this damaging material the greater danger there is that the Covid pandemic will be prolonged. I ask them to please stop this now. Meanwhile, if anyone knows who they are please to contact the police so they can be cautioned."

The act of vandalism has been slammed by local councillors and police

Police are investigating the incident. If anyone has information as to who placed the posters in the shop fronts or witnessed the act, they are asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.