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Dr. Fauci’s prediction on the coronavirus last March was wrong — but not in a good way

Dr. Fauci said in March 2020 that the coronavirus would spread to millions. But he was wrong about the death count

SHARE Dr. Fauci’s prediction on the coronavirus last March was wrong — but not in a good way
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to Congress on Sept. 23, 2020.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 on Sept. 23, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Graeme Jennings, pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s comments from March 2020 have been making headlines in recent weeks as news outlets consider how well he predicted the pandemic.

  • But one quick look at his estimation for deaths was wildly wrong — but not in a good way.

What happened

Fauci said in March 2020 that COVID-19could kill 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.
  • He said that 1 million to 2 million deaths from coronavirus would “almost certainly off the chart.” But, he said, “Now it’s not impossible, but very, very unlikely.”
  • Fauci said predictions are sometimes hard to take seriously since “it’s such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong and mislead people.”

Why was Fauci wrong?

In February 2021, the United States death toll from the coronavirus topped 500,000 — which is more than double what Fauci originally predicted, according to NBC News.

  • The novel coronavirus has killed more than 2,462,000 people throughout the world as well. More than one-fifth of the deaths came in the U.S.

More predictions

  • However, Fauci did predict that the novel coronavirus would lead to closed schools, businesses letting people work from home and canceled events, according to MSNBC.