The Worst Predictions of 2020

The coronavirus will simply “go away”

Predicted by Donald Trump … many, many times

March 6: “It’ll go away.”
March 10: “Just stay calm. It will go away.”
March 12: “It’s going to go away.”
March 30: “It will go away. You know it — you know it is going away, and it will go away, and we’re going to have a great victory.”
March 31: “It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And, if not, hopefully it will be soon after that.”
April 3: “It is going to go away… It’s going — I didn’t say a date. … I said ‘it’s going away,’ and it is going away.”
April 7: “It did go — it will go away.”
May 15: “It’ll go away — at some point, it’ll go away.”
June 15: “At some point, this stuff goes away. And it’s going away.”
July 19: “I will be right eventually. You know, I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again.”
Aug. 5: “This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away.”
Aug. 31: “It’s going to go away.”
Sept. 15: “It is going away. And it’s probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccines.”
Oct. 10: “It’s going to disappear; it is disappearing.”
Oct. 24: “It is going away; it’s rounding the turn.”

It’s the end of December, and though vaccines are starting to be distributed, there is no sign that the coronavirus is disappearing, despite the fervent wishes of the “herd immunity” crowd. Nationwide, the virus is in the middle of a third wave that dwarfs those earlier in the year. On July 17, the summertime coronavirus spike hit its apex in terms of daily new cases in the U.S.: 76,334. Today, that number would be the lowest daily total we’ve seen in more than two months. We’ve marked more than 100,000 new cases every single day since Nov. 4, the number of fatalities from Covid has reached record highs, the 10 deadliest days since the start of the pandemic all happened this December, and the caseload is likely to increase in the coming weeks due to travel during the holidays.

We’ll know who won the presidency by 10 p.m. on election night

Predicted by James Carville, Nov. 2

In the run-up to Election Day, a strain of thinking emerged that the polls showing a tightening race between Trump and Biden were actually undercounting Biden’s support. Among those who embraced this thinking was James Carville, the famed Democratic strategist who helmed Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. “We’re gonna know the winner of this election by 10 o’clock tomorrow night,” Carville told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on November 2. “What people are doing is just unnecessarily scaring people and making them nervous.”

The count on election night proved inconclusive, with huge troves of uncounted mail-in ballots waiting to be tallied. It wasn’t until 11:25 a.m. on the Saturday four days later that the AP declared Joe Biden the winner and other major media outlets followed suit.

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