Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the top infectious disease experts in the country, said on CNN Wednesday morning that the high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths would have been “unimaginable” one year ago.
- “If you had turned the clock back a year, and when we had a decision of shutting down travel from Europe, which was a year ago tomorrow ... the thought that you would have 525,000 people in America to have died ... would have really been unimaginable,” he said.
“Tomorrow” refers to March 11, 2020 — the day Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 and the game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled (with the NBA suspending its season soon after).
Indeed, Fauci said back in March 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic could kill between 100,000 to 200,000 Americans and infect millions, according to NPR.
- “I just don’t think that we really need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong,” Fauci told CNN at the time.
In fact, Fauci told CNN the idea of 1 million to 2 million deaths from coronavirus would be “almost certainly off the chart.” But, he said, “Now it’s not impossible, but very, very unlikely.”
Fauci was right about how the pandemic would impact the United States. He predicted in spring 2020 the spread of COVID-19 would lead to schools closing, businesses having people work from home and events canceled, according to MSNBC.