Leo Varadkar and Keith Barry feature with Donald Trump among list of worst Covid-19 predictions

When the Covid-19 pandemic began, no one could predict exactly what was coming down the line.

Irish society was turned upside down on the fateful day in March 2020 when then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar ordered the closure and schools and colleges.

The country, or indeed the world, had very little idea about the many twists and turns the pandemic would throw at us over the next two years.

Now, with that vast majority of Covid-19 restrictions scrapped in Ireland and the situation improving globally, there’s no better time than now to reflect on some wrong predictions about the pandemic.

Starting off with Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, who actually made a list of worst predictions for 2021 by opinion columnist Peter Coy of the New York Times.

The Tanaiste told Newstalk Breakfast in December 2020 that he believed the pandemic would end in 2021.

He said: “With the vaccine, with mass testing and with the knowledge of how to prevent and treat this virus, I think the pandemic will end in 2021.”

Coy wrote that Varadkar was “daring to predict the course of a pandemic that has flummoxed the experts repeatedly.”

He added: “To his credit, he did qualify his prediction with ‘I think’.”

Famous mentalist, magician and hypnotist Keith Barry made a prediction on the exact date that all bars will reopen across Ireland last year.

Keith was asked on FM104 by a listener: “Will I get in a pub in June with the lads?” to which he responded immediately ‘absolutely, yes’.”

But he didn’t stop there, adding: “I’m going to say yes. I’m going to give a date, my prediction is June 1, we’re back in the pubs.”

He continued: “June 1, we’re back in those pubs. Not physically, obviously, but definitely in the beer gardens and probably up to about 15 people inside the pub. That’s my prediction.”

Now Keith Barry, to his credit, wasn’t far off with his prediction that beer gardens would be open on June 1.

Hospitality opened outdoors on June 7 but it would be July 26 before bars and restaurants could allow only vaccinated customers indoors.

It would be unfair to compile a list of incorrect Covid-19 predictions without giving a shout out to US President Donald Trump.

And although there are countless comments we could choose from, one of his final ones as US President was that Covid wouldn’t be heard about after the 2020 General Election.

He told his supporters at a campaign rally in Lumberton, North Carolina, on October 24 2020: “That’s all I hear about now. That’s all I hear. Turn on television—’Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.’ A plane goes down. 500 people dead, they don’t talk about it.

“Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.’ By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about it anymore.”

Trump was wrong, as Covid-19 continues to dominated headlines in the US over a year after the election,

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is notorious for making incorrect and badly aged Covid-19 predictions, so much so that Forbes made an entire timeline of his false claims.

Musk regularly took to Twitter to give his two cents on the pandemic but one of his better known predictions was that the US would have no Covid-19 cases by the end of April 2020.

He tweeted on March 19, 2020: “Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April.”

Safe to say, Musk was incorrect and cases in the US topped 20,000 per day by the end of that month.

And an honourable mention goes to Vanessa Hudgens, for not necessarily making an incorrect prediction but for making one of the most controversial statements about the pandemic.

She went live on Instagram in March 2020 and said: “It’s a virus, I get it, I respect it. Even if everybody gets it, like yeah, people are going to die. It’s terrible, but like, inevitable?”

The High School Musical star immediately faced criticism online and apologised for the comments.

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