“We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” President Trump said back in March about the lockdowns. He was lambasted in the media for the tweet. HuffPost even included it as one of “Trump’s most damaging coronavirus lies.”
“The economic devastation being caused with much of the country shut down by coronavirus restrictions is apparent ― nobody can argue with that,” explained HuffPost’s Ryan Grenoble. “But ending social distancing efforts prematurely will stretch this crisis out longer, put far greater strain on our health care system (leading to more deaths), and make the coronavirus harder to control in the long run, potentially causing even more economic disruption.”
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
Trump elaborated on this point during a Fox News town hall. “You’re going to have suicides by the thousands,” he said. “People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies. You have death. Probably and — I mean, definitely — would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about with regard to the virus.”
The Associated Press even fact-checked Trump, arguing, “There’s no evidence that suicides will rise dramatically, let alone surpass potential coronavirus deaths. Historically in a crisis, suicides tend to diminish as society pulls together in a common purpose.”
As usual, though, Trump has been proven right.
According to figures published Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 25.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 seriously considered suicide in the past thirty days, as have 16 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.
As CDC director Redfield has said, the coronavirus "has very limited pathogenicity under age 45."
Lockdowns, college closures, sports cancellations. These things are driving young people toward suicide.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) August 13, 2020
The coronavirus has a lower mortality rate for people 49 and under than the seasonal flu. This means that while young people are at extremely low risk of mortality from the coronavirus, the lockdowns are causing huge numbers of young people to contemplate suicide.
Even CDC Director Robert R. Redfield acknowledged that, in regard to school closures, “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess, that we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from COVID.”
CDC re school closures, particularly high schools: "We're seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We're seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess, that we had as background, than we are seeing deaths from COVID." pic.twitter.com/TTdEtCNfIA
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) July 29, 2020
So, will the media finally admit that Trump was right?
I’m not holding my breath.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis