In a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Jake Tapper yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believes the excess deaths we are seeing this year show that the COVID-19 death count is higher than what's officially being reported. "It certainly suggests that is the case," Fauci said in response to Tapper's assertion of over 20% more excess deaths. "Unless you can find another reason — which I can't think of — of there being these excess deaths in the context of coronavirus, you'd have to make an assumption that it's reasonably possible, if not likely, that those are deaths that are related to corona and they are just not being counted."
It's one thing to assert that the cost of panic, lockdown, and social isolation are somehow worth Fauci's alleged gains in preventing coronavirus deaths. But to deny the fact that we are seeing excess deaths this year that are not explained by the virus itself, but likely due to our response to it, is willful blindness. Nowhere is this more evident than with drug overdoses.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, half of the bodies in the city's morgue are from drug overdoses — with the city on pace for 700 drug fatalities by the end of the year. That is a staggering 59% increase from last year. It's hard to explain such an increase in one year without taking into account the mental health toll of the lockdown and social isolation. As city supervisor Matt Haney observed, "It's already killed four times as many people as COVID."
Through Aug. 31, there were 468 drug overdose fatalities. According to city data, there were just 91 reported COVID-19 deaths at that point. That means that just the excess drug deaths over last year alone are outpacing the deaths from the virus. This is occurring in many other parts of the country, such as in Nashville and in Ohio. In many of these states, the surge in drug deaths since 2013 had finally stabilized before the lockdowns. For Fauci to suggest that there is no explanation for excess deaths above and beyond the official COVID count is quite insidious.
What is further shocking about Fauci's disregard for the collateral damage of the mental health crisis is that these deaths are by and large among young people. The number of years of life lost due to the panic is enormous. As I noted in the case study of Tennessee, excess deaths for the elderly barely registered in that state. On the other hand, there is a notable bump in deaths among those ages 25-44, most likely because of Nashville's drug overdose crisis.
The sharp bump in excess deaths nationwide among younger people lays waste to Fauci's theory of undercounting COVID-19 deaths. It's one thing to suggest we are missing more COVID deaths among the elderly, but if the excess deaths (over and beyond the official COVID death count) are largely being driven by younger people, it is very hard to assert that we are missing thousands of coronavirus deaths among a cohort that is not really threatened by the virus, especially with our liberal methods of counting.
Based on this data, we are on pace to finish the year with 30,260 deaths above forecasted baseline deaths for those under 45, but only 8,307 deaths from COVID-19 in those same groups. That means that non-COVID-19 excess deaths (21,953) would be 2.6 times higher than excess deaths from COVID-19 (8,307). And remember, that includes those young folks who died in motorcycle accidents but tested positive for COVID and, ironically, in some cases, those who died of drug overdoses!
It's truly shocking how our leaders continue to brazenly ignore the collateral damage of their policies even as the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning of the ill effects of lockdown. On Sunday, Dr. David Nabarro, one of the top WHO officials and a special envoy on the virus, appealed to world leaders to stop "using lockdowns as your primary control method" for the virus. While noting the increased poverty and child malnutrition induced by lockdowns, Nabarro categorically stated, "We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus."Sadly, Fauci continues to move the goalposts from 15 days to flatten the curve so hospitals aren't overrun to a permanent control over our lives. The only way he can do so is to ignore the physical health, mental health, and economic consequences of his policies — even when they are in plain sight.