The millionaire tech tycoon who made global headlines for offering a female plane passenger $100,000 to remove her face mask has told The Post he has “no regrets” about his controversial offer.
Silicon Valley veteran Steve Kirsch, 64, was branded a “creep” after he outlined his encounter with the girl in a Twitter thread last Friday.
“I’m on board a Delta flight without delay,” he wrote in his first post, which has been viewed greater than 32 million times. “The person sitting next to me in first-class refused $100,000 to remove her mask for the whole flight. No joke. This was after I explained they don’t work. She works for a pharma company.”
Speaking with The Post on Thursday, Kirsch — once a outstanding donor to Democrats, but who now won’t give a dime to members of that party — gave context about his conversation with the mask-clad passenger, saying it took place on a 4½-hour flight from San Francisco to Detroit.
“It was a cordial conversation,” the rich businessman insisted, adding that he’s “never obnoxious and aggressive” when talking to people who find themselves masked.
Based on Kirsch, the girl, who he said was in her mid-60s, was actually the one who struck up the conversation.
“I asked her why she was wearing a mask,” he explained. “She said she was going to see her daughter and desired to protect herself against COVID-19.”
Steve Kirsch made global headlines for offering a female plane passenger $100,000 to remove her face mask.
The tech tycoon claimed he then made the “hypothetical” $100,000 offer to “query the intensity of her belief” that masks were an efficient type of protection against the virus.
The girl said she would turn down the sum of cash, with Kirsch claiming it “highlights the insanity some people have.”
“She believes it [the mask] works,” the tech tycoon explained in an exasperated fashion.
“I just wanted to know how people consider this s – – t,” he added.
Despite vehemently disagreeing with the girl, Kirsch described her as “super nice” and said their encounter all the time remained friendly.
He even showed her the tweet he had posted about their encounter.
Kirsch is a Silicon Valley veteran who’s credited with introducing considered one of the primary versions of the optical mouse back in 1980.
He later co-founded Frame Technology Corporation, which was bought by Adobe in 1995, and created the search engine Infoseek, which was sold to Disney in 1999.
His net value was reported at $230 million in 2007.
Kirsch — once a outstanding Democrat donor — has turn out to be a skeptic about COVID vaccines, masks and mandates.
In 2020, Kirsch created a research fund for potential COVID treatments, pouring $1 million into the enterprise, in response to MIT Technology Review.
Nonetheless, the publication reported that he has since turn out to be a skeptic about authorized COVID vaccines and has spread “misinformation” concerning the pandemic online.
His Twitter feed, on which he describes himself as a “truth-teller” and “critical thinker,” is complete with links to articles which can be also skeptical of COVID mandates and masking practices.
Kirsch, pictured in 1987, is a Silicon Valley veteran credited with introducing considered one of the primary versions of the optical mouse in 1980.
But Kirsch told The Post he has “never shared any misinformation” and said US authorities are afraid of releasing data that links COVID vaccination to unexplained deaths.
Meanwhile, his “hypothetical” $100,000 offer to the feminine plane passenger isn’t the primary pitch he’s made.
Kirsch has a Substack account, where on March 9 he published a post titled “I offered people $10,000 to take off their face masks for 60 minutes. Here’s what happened.”
“Masks don’t work and even in the event that they did, people aren’t covering their eyes so the mitigation is totally useless and nonsensical,” the businessman wrote in his piece. “Despite that, individuals are so brainwashed with fear due to the CDC narrative that they’d refuse a proposal of $10,000 to take off their mask.”
Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services each still advisable masking up in certain circumstances.
In December, Los Angeles County was considering reinstituting an area indoor-mask mandate resulting from a coronavirus surge, with some pushback from experts.
Just last month a latest study suggested that widespread masking could have done little to nothing to curb the transmission of COVID-19.
Kirsch’s repute has taken a success amongst well-heeled liberals in Silicon Valley since he began speaking out against official COVID measures.
Nonetheless, the millionaire told The Post he isn’t bothered.
“I’m saving lives — I haven’t any regrets,” he declared.