COVID taskforce leader and shutdown mastermind Dr. Anthony Fauci, who at one point predicted upwards of 2 million deaths due to the coronavirus, now says that his “models” – which have been about as accurate as a sniper rifle fired by Hellen Keller –predict another 300,000 to 400,000 deaths if America doesn’t continue its shutdowns through the fall and winter seasons.
"The models tell us that if we do not do the kinds of things that we're talking about in the cold of the fall and the winter, we could have from 300,000 to 400,000 deaths," Fauci said during a virtual speech at American University on Tuesday. "That would be just so tragic if that happens."
"Maybe 50 percent of you hate me because you think I'm trying to destroy the country, but listen to me for six weeks or so, and do what I say, and you'll see the numbers go down," he told critics.
The U.S. has so far recorded just over 200,000 COVID deaths, a tally that even CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield acknowledged could be inflated.
The NIAID director – who in the past has provided conflicting information to the public, such as first telling people not to wear masks only to turn around and say that yes, we should all wear masks or else we’ll die, and downplaying person-to-person transmission of the virus before doing an about-face on that point, as well – recently suggested that the U.S. may need to endure some form of shutdown through 2021, the earliest he thinks a vaccine can be readily available to the masses.
Meanwhile, one study predicted that the U.S. could see an additional 75,000 “deaths of depair”due to COVID lockdowns, mental health issues, drugs and alcohol, the inability to access “non-essential” medical procedures, and economic problems brought on by failed businesses or the loss of jobs and income. Suicides among military service members are up 20 percent since COVID shutdowns were put in place, while a full one in four Americans between 18 and 24 reported having considered suicide.
Even as the economy sputters back to life, U.S. unemployment remains at 7.9 percent, with 12.6 million people still reporting being out of work. A September report estimated that around 60 percent of the businesses, most of them restaurants, that were forced to close during the shutdown will never reopen. As of August 31, nearly 163,700 businesses on Yelp had been closed since March 1, with 98,000 saying they were closed for good.