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A Review of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Past Projections on the Wuhan Coronavirus

A Review of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Past Projections on the Wuhan Coronavirus

On Feb. 28: “overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”

This Sunday morning, social media was abuzz with the news that Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated that current models showed millions of Americans could have the Wuhan Coronavirus, and there could be as many as 100,000 deaths.

“Whenever the models come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario. Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle. I’ve never seen a model of the diseases that I’ve dealt with where the worst case actually came out. They always overshoot,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, you know, I would say between 100 and 200,000 (deaths). But I don’t want to be held to that,” he said, adding that the US is going to have “millions of cases.”

However, during Sunday afternoon’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Fauci clarified that he was relying on models, and the information used by those models included no intervention (which clearly is NOT occurring).

And he took the media to task for sensationalizing those numbers.

At this point, it is worthwhile taking a look at the previous predictions about the pandemic that Fauci made.

On February 28, 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine published online an article that lays out the opinions of leading medical scientists about the Wuhan Coronavirus and projects a possible future once the current wave of infections is over.

The analysis, Covid-19 – Navigating the Unknown (pdf.) – is co-authored by Fauci. He joined H. Clifford Lane (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects), and Robert R. Redfield (Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

The relatively short article has information presented clearly and concisely. I would like to feature a few bits with supporting background information. The work provides historical background on the coronavirus research and maps out the battle strategy against the virus.

Many people have had already noted that it is difficult to gauge precisely how lethal the coronavirus is without knowing exactly how many people have the virus and recovered with few if any symptoms. The authors strongly suspect that the 1.4% mortality rate being reported is too high, with the real number being closer to severe strains of flu seen in previous pandemics (e.g, Asian Flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968).

If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.

There is good reason to believe the asymptomatic numbers are significant. Iceland is conducting mass testing, which includes people who have not experienced symptoms of COVID-19.

This testing concludes half of the carriers show no symptoms. Additionally, the majority of those tested who indicated they had symptoms (e.g., headache, fever, dry cough) experienced very mild symptoms.

While Iceland has only 218 confirmed cases among its tiny population, its testing program has produced crucial data about the coronavirus – that half of those who were tested positive have no coronavirus symptoms.

…“Early results from deCode Genetics indicate that a low proportion of the general population has contracted the virus and that about half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic,” Thorolfur Guðnason, Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, was quoted as saying BuzzFeed News. “The other half displays very moderate cold-like symptoms.”

The difference between the flu and COVID-19 is that all of us have had influenza at some time. Therefore, an older adult may have antibodies to a flu strain to which they are exposed and can overcome the infection.

This is not the case for the Wuhan Coronavirus. Nobody had ever been infected with it before Patient Zero in China. Therefore, the older population is being struck because their immune systems are not as robust as younger patients, and has no way to adapt and fight this new pathogen.

A study of 425 patients from the Wuhan area bears out this projection.

The median age of the patients was 59 years, with higher morbidity and mortality among the elderly and among those with coexisting conditions (similar to the situation with influenza); 56% of the patients were male. Of note, there were no cases in children younger than 15 years of age. Either children are less likely to become infected, which would have important epidemiologic implications, or their symptoms were so mild that their infection escaped detection, which has implications for the size of the denominator of total community infections.

Fauci and his co-authors also reviewed the timing of the onset of the disease to the need for an infected person to be hospitalized.

For example, Li et al. report a mean interval of 9.1 to 12.5 days between the onset of illness and hospitalization. This finding of a delay in the progression to serious disease may be telling us something important about the pathogenesis of this new virus and may provide a unique window of opportunity for intervention.

The 15-days Guidelines allowed the nation to prepare to get the equipment and resources needed in-place before a wave of hospitalizations would be required. The 15-days also provided time to garner information possible treatment options for those experiencing symptoms. These include lopinavir-ritonavir, interferon-1β, the RNA polymerase inhibitor remdesivir, chloroquine, a variety of traditional Chinese medicine products, and intravenous hyperimmune globulin from recovered patients.

Based on Task Force briefing discussions with Fauci and fellow member Dr. Deborah Birx, it appears that the team projects that the coronavirus will disappear during the summer, and return in the fall. They are working with the President and the rest of his team to expedite testing, find and produce vaccines, and identify effective treatments while keeping the mortality rate as low as can be achieved in this first wave of infections.

It is critical to note that the models used provide a range of possible outcomes. A good example, and one which comes from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME, an independent population health research center at the University of Washington Medicine). As we hit the date of April 30th, it will be interesting to see how accurate the range is, especially in light of the rapidly expanding treatment and drug options.

If the curve flattens to around 33,000 deaths, then that is approximately the same as a moderately bad flu year, and far short of the 100,000 the media was presenting this weekend.

President Donald Trump is working hard to reduce the number to as low as can be achieved, based on the advice of Fauci and other team members. They may have access to additional information that indicates the extension of guidelines to the end of April is warranted.

Fauci and his team continue to gather data, and adjustments will be made in the models as speculation is replaced by hard information and results. For now, it appears that Fauci and his team’s original roadmap for the pandemic was good.


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Well Tony you created quite the mess for your self. You had to know the media was going to run with the worst case scenario, just ramping up the fear.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to buck61. | March 30, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    Have you seen that OVERLY GOOEY JR. High School type
    LOVE LETTER TO HILLARY he wrote????

All bets are off if COVID-19 follows the Flu in seasonality. If so, we will see the infection rates crash after April. That will give us time to engineer a vaccine.

    rabid wombat in reply to MattMusson. | March 30, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Likewise, be careful of it coming back in the fall…I think the Spanish flu had three waves, with the second being the worst…

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to rabid wombat. | March 30, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      I’m struck of how a mass sweep of a virus such as the Spanish Flu ONLY happened after government schools had gotten so large and so organized……………

      No one has done research on such as far as I know….

      Just takes the first tool of science that’s been around for centuries – observation.

Washington State is approaching 200.

Virtually all of those were deaths from pre-lock down exposure.

We’re going into the third week of lockdown and about a month into heightened awareness to about distancing.

I find it unlikely that we are going to break 1000 as it would have to be due to cases ALREADY in the hospital.

More likely, I see us hitting 500, unless you count a long tail going all the way to Jan 2021.

Of course the drug addicts in Seattle are not going to abide by quarantine- they have about 5 of those and they are not forcing the addicts to stay put… they can leave anytime. Way to go dipshit INSLEE.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Andy. | March 30, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    You know good and well the Democrat Party Leftists are
    COUNTING many deaths not related to “19” to it to deliberately increase the count/rate.

    bw222 in reply to Andy. | March 30, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Unfortunately, Michigan is racing to catch Washington. 5,500 confirmed cases/132 deaths. Unfortunately Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is more interested in campaigning to be Joe Biden’s running mate than protecting the health and safety of Michigan residents. Michigan has had no single cause, like the Washington senior citizens home.

To paraphrase an old saying Fauci has more stories than the Empire State Building.

Leslie – Any information on why CA is so far behind on testing?

I’m worried, I see early testing as a key component for tackling the Coronavirus.


CA has 64,400 tests pending, and the US only has 65,549 pending. And CA seems to be doing about 1,000 tests a day.

And an LA Times article mentioned some details.

This may be relevant:

Ca is doing 1-2 thousand tests a day.

A few Swags…

1. Ca is controlling most testing, and has contracted out only limited testing. Quest Diagnostics I think with a lab in San Clemente, that is currently at 1k per day, and they hope eventually to add a 2nd lab to get up to 10k per day.

2. I think it was an SF Gate article that mentioned CA has 150,000 tests kits on order.

3. Poor cdc guidelines changing all the time on who to test, so lack of urgency to get more tests done.

4. Lack of outsourcing of testing. NY seems to be doing more outsourcing, so is getting more tests done.

5. I think the FDA let each state decide / approve on testing. My guess is Ca is going flow in this area.

Guys there is no way, with our current response, that we see a million deaths attributed to covid-19, without other complicating co-morbidity factors.

1. The amount of cases are unknown and are likely very high, much higher than the official numbers. That tells us that the ability for healthy and younger than 65 folks to throw this off is also high. We won’t know that as an observable fact until much later.
2. The basic prevention measures are effective. Hand washing, social distancing, lessened contact and near isolation of the immuno comprised, the elderly and folks with other high risk health issues such as respiratory problems. Folks licking toilets deserve to pay the price of their stupidity.
3. The use of antibodies from those who have recovered as a stop gap ‘vaccine’ appears promising from all that I have read. As does the use of chloroquine and z-pack as a treatment and as a prophylactic.
4. The coming fiscal aid from the federal government, while not as precisely targeted as we would like, will serve to help stop the free fall into a true depression if not a technical one.
5. Look at the numbers from the CDC, subtract N.Y. and the picture is much better. Subtract, NJ, Connecticut etc and you see that the northeast is doing far worse than the rest of the nation. Hopefully as the rest of the states hit their own peak and numbers fall then resources can be shared with the states most impacted.
6. This event provides an opportunity to review the general levels of preparation and response by each state and city. Particularly the expenditure of funds for items other than preparation; funds for illegal aliens by some of the states most heavily impacted as one example. I believe that many taxpayers are going to demand changes in state and municipal spending priorities.
7. Hospital beds have been cut nationwide, in part to changes in reimbursement rates under ‘Obama-care’ and to a larger degree by the requirement for certificate of need which in effect creates a monopoly by denying competition.

Bottom line is this will be effectively over for this round by mid June, maybe a bit longer in some areas. This provides time to develop therapeutic remedies and refine policies before a second wave hits in the fall as temperature drops.

I am taking a bit financially on my rental properties but on the bright side my yard hasn’t looked this good in years. Try to be positive and don’t allow the fear mongering MSM to affect your mental health. Enjoy your unexpected time with your kids and spouse. Make lemonade.

WTF is 100 K to 200K deaths! Geez, I can be a scientist and make that prediction. That does not sound like a project from a model, it sounds like I am going to pull this out of my a$$.

I am guessing 11 K by the next 8 weeks. I might lean more towards 20K if we don’t get the drugs out there.

Isolation is going to hurt us more than help us because if prevents herd immunity.

2.8 Million deaths in the US annually. That is 53000 per week.

There’s an old saying among people who do mathematical modeling: Mathematical modeling is like masturbation, the more you do it the more you think it’s the real thing.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Perfesser33. | March 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Oh my!

    But it’s the truth.

    We see it in all those
    Democrat Party eggheads.

    InEssence in reply to Perfesser33. | March 30, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    A math model is just another way of saying, “I don’t know”, unless the model closes on real data or has a built in closure such as those in circuits. The Covid19 models don’t mean anything.

    Hollymon in reply to Perfesser33. | March 31, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Love the masturbation quote. I’m going to use it as soon as I get close enough to friends to tell a joke without yelling.

    My question is “What would you do, read tea leaves?” We live in a universe which operates under rules. That is one of two core beliefs of all real scientists. Since the time of Galileo we have described those rules most successfully by using mathematics to both model current behavior and then predict future behavior in nature. It works, period. Virtually everything which characterizes the word “modern” is the result of scientific research and mathematical modeling.

    Modern society is a complex system. Modeling it is tough, but last time I checked, society was still part of the universe. Mathematical modeling is the best tool we’ve got. I say, use it until something better comes along.

      Since that is what I did for a living (thanks Cornell) what you do is what Fauci et al. are doing, they continually refine and update their models based upon new data. So what happens is that the model becomes a better and better approximation of reality. The global warming alarmists have yet to learn this lesson. If the model does not fit the data (without data manipulation) it is garbage.

    RasMoyag in reply to Perfesser33. | March 31, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Modeling is simply a way of saying Science. All of science is a model. An idea in the brain. A simple way of thinking about things. Without models there is no scientific thinking. So talk about masterbation and smirk, but what else have you got to offer humanity except scientific thinking?

Creating true herd-immunity: Let the infection happen and support the system during the
illness with non-toxic biological measures (we have decades of experience doing that with the chickenpox
virus – by getting children together with an infected child and enjoying long lasting immunity after the illness)

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools …”

R. Kipling

Tony is a scientist, telling scientific truth. This epidemic is a moving target, and we are purposely trying to make it end up looking like a nothing burger.

I sincerely hope he succeeds. I’d rather deal with snotty script kiddies jumping down and hollering “FAKE NEWS!!!!” than having to bury them and a whole lot of other people.

    tphillip in reply to Valerie. | March 30, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    If you believe *anyone* because they have letters after their name you’re a bigger fool than most.

    And Dr Fauci has a long history of sensationalism and fear mongering for government money for his pet projects.

    I suggest you do some research before believing “scientists” speaking “scientific proof”.

Absolutely nothing prevents a State from immediately ordering trials within that State for drug efficacy. In fact State action is specifically allowed in the Constitution as the Tenth Amendment has always been interpreted allow the States to provide for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Trump has been reminding the governors of this, and somehow, their unwillingness to do their job is the Federal government’s fault.
California, NY and Texas have wasted 2 months of research time at their universities and hospitals devising a cure, and it is inexcusable.
There should be available 1,000s of records of patient’s condition, course, treatment and response or lack thereof. There are 3 courses of treatment showing promise, a 4th possible from a firm in Texas that stopped SARS ans MERS dead in its tracks on a trial with mice.

When the dust settles from all of this, our experience has the potential to vastly influence the public’s perception of the “Climate Crisis!” hysteria.

I have a couple of “woke” nephews in college who just a few months ago were chugging the climate cool-aid. Now they’re freaking out over the over-reaction to the Wu Flu. I’m helping them connect the dots.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Paul. | March 30, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Paul, you’re absolutely right.

    From observation these past many weeks, it seems to be that it is the youngest (supposedly the group at almost zero risk for this) that are FrEAkING out the most.

    They are also the most unconnected to reality – too much time on social media…….

Here’s some trivia to ponder Fauci, when spelled Falce, translates to Scythe in Italian.

Interesting tidbit from Fauci’s 11th reference — WHO R&D blueprint: informal consultation on prioritization of candidate therapeutic agents for use in novel coronavirus 2019 infection. Geneva: World Health Organization, January 24, 2020:

“Chloroquine was also mentioned as product for which there is insufficient evidence to support its further investigation.”


The dinosaur media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party, is about hype, everything, all the time. Example is the weather. Not high and low temperatures, it’s wind chill or feels like, the numbers are higher/lower. Kinda like when a car salesman, as you are walking out the door, gives you a figure, he high balls your trade value. That’s the number you will remember.

It can revisit in a most painful manner.

Our mass transportation system has spread this virus throughout the world at a phenomenal speed. Is there any hope for mass transportation in our future?