Grim New Model Predicts More Than 400,000 COVID-19 Deaths in the United States by 2021 Without Universal Mask Mandate
A new model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that 410,451 Americans will lose their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic by January 1, 2021 if current trends continue.
The IHME model’s casualty projection balloons to 620,029 if political leaders keep insisting upon forcing kids back to school, reopening businesses, easing social distancing restrictions on public gatherings, and haphazardly waffling over whether to legally mandate wearing masks in public.
On the other hand, the IHME model states that universal mask-wearing could reduce the number of coronavirus fatalities by more than 120,000.
“We all must learn from those leaders of nations where the virus has been contained, or where second waves of infections have occurred, and where swift action has been taken to prevent loss of life,” IHME Director Christopher Murray said in a statement.
Today, the COVID-19 death count in the United States is nudging up to 187,000, with more than six million cases already on the books. Universal mask mandates could have saved tens of thousands of lives.
The Centers for Disease Control has pleaded with the public to accept its findings that wearing masks is one of the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, but many Republican lawmakers, conservative activists, and die-hard supporters of President Donald Trump still refuse to wear them, often violently protesting against mask mandates while making absurd claims that being forced to wear a mask violates their constitutional rights or even equates to racial discrimination.
“This first global forecast represents an opportunity to underscore the problem with herd immunity, which, essentially, ignores science and ethics, and allows millions of avoidable deaths,” Murray said. “It is, quite simply, reprehensible.”
Doctor Scott Atlas, a formerly reputable neuroradiologist and the Trump Administration’s latest adviser on its coronavirus task force, has suggested that the only way to defeat COVID-19 may be to expose as many people as possible to achieve so-called “herd-immunity,” so that a majority of the population can develop antibodies to protect itself from the virus.
“We can allow a lot of people to get infected,” Atlas said in April. “Those who are not at risk to die or have a serious hospital-requiring illness, we should be fine with letting them get infected, generating immunity on their own, and the more immunity in the community, the better we can eradicate the threat of the virus.”
But health experts have warned that Atlas’ approach, which mirrors that of anti-vaxxers who intentionally expose their children to preventable illnesses like mumps and measels, would harbinger one to two million American deaths.
There are no known cures, universal treatments, or vaccines for COVID-19.