San Francisco Sees More Overdose Deaths Than Covid Deaths in 2020

Data show alarming trends in drug overdoses and suicide as people—especially young people who are least at risk from COVID-19—are forcibly cut off from friends, families, and communities.

It’s quite likely that wherever you are reading this, you are currently subjected to lockdowns, restrictions, regulations, or executive orders to one degree or another, as government officials respond to the coronavirus pandemic with increasing coercion and control. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that US states and cities have “imposed the most extensive restrictions on business and social gatherings” since the spring.

Many argue that these new restrictions are essential for slowing the current surge in coronavirus cases in certain areas, but some public health researchers have pointed out that lockdowns and related government orders that focus entirely on containing COVID-19 cases lead to worse public health outcomes in other areas. This collateral damage from lockdowns is already glaringly apparent. In particular, data show an alarming trend toward drug overdoses and suicide in 2020, as people—especially young people who are least at risk from COVID-19—are forcibly cut off from their friends, families, and communities.

The desperation is revealed in startling new statistics. According to the Associated Press, a total of 621 people have died of drug overdoses this year in San Francisco, compared to 173 deaths in the city from COVID-19. The number of San Francisco drug overdose deaths is up from 441 in 2019. California has enacted some of the strictest public health orders in the country this year, and is still seeing its cases rise.

One survey by YouGov found that 39 percent of respondents who were recovering from an addiction prior to lockdowns have relapsed. Other research shows increasing rates of drug and alcohol abuse in 2020, and the CDC reports that overdose deaths are accelerating during COVID-19.

Federal surveys show that 40 percent of Americans are now grappling with at least one mental health or drug-related problem.

Martin Kulldorff, a biostatistician and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, has been critical of widespread lockdowns since the beginning of the pandemic, warning that these coercive strategies would lead to other serious public health harms and increased mortality.

“The current lockdown strategy has led to many excess deaths, both from COVID-19 and from the collateral damage on other health outcomes,” Kulldorff recently told Newsweek. “A focused protection strategy, as outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration, would minimize disease and mortality by better protecting older and other high risk people while letting the young live near normal lives.”

Kulldorff also suggests that new data showing US excess deaths in 2020 for people ages 25-44 are mostly due to the collateral damage caused by lockdown policies.

In addition to rising drug and alcohol abuse and overdose deaths, suicidal thoughts and attempts are also increasing this year. The Washington Post reports that depression and anxiety have surged since the arrival of the coronavirus.

“Federal surveys show that 40 percent of Americans are now grappling with at least one mental health or drug-related problem. But young adults have been hit harder than any other age group, with 75 percent struggling,” the Post reports. “Even more alarming, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently asked young adults if they had thought about killing themselves in the past 30 days, 1 in 4 said they had.”

The Post explains that we won’t have accurate data on suicide rates for 2020 until another couple of years, due to slow reporting mechanisms. But state and city data for some areas suggest disturbing suicide numbers this year, including in Oregon’s Columbia County where suicides by summertime had already exceeded the area’s 2019 total, and DuPage County near Chicago reports a 23 percent increase in suicides over last year. Other large counties in the US have seen similarly ominous trends, and in Japan, more people died of suicide in the month of October alone than have died from COVID-19 this entire year.

As families weigh the trade-offs this holiday season between social isolation to slow the spread of coronavirus and the harms that this separation can cause, many of them are choosing to ignore public health warnings to avoid travel and holiday gatherings. The New York Times reports that millions of people have passed through airport security checkpoints this week, while The Wall Street Journal indicates that nearly 85 million Americans are expected to travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, a decline of just under 30 percent from last year.

More families may be seeing the damage these lockdowns and related policies are causing their loved ones and are no longer willing to comply with draconian orders to stay away from others. Their decision may be made easier when they see public health officials and politicians personally violating the holiday travel and gathering warnings and rules they thrust on others.

COVID-19 should be taken seriously as a public health threat, but so too should the harms of lockdowns and government orders that are leading to record numbers of drug overdose deaths and suicides, along with other types of collateral damage such as rising global poverty and declining cancer screenings.

While public health and elected officials remain singularly focused on COVID-19, families gathering this holiday season recognize that ensuring the overall health and well-being of their loved ones extends beyond one virus.


Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). She is also an adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. You can sign up for her weekly newsletter on parenting and education here.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: The Summer of HATE

In 1967, hippies gathered in San Francisco for “The Summer of Love,” a phenomenon featuring peace, love, music and dope. It captivated the imagination of the country at the time. Singer Scott McKenzie sang a song [below] written by John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas), titled “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” which became a mega-hit and anthem for the Summer of Love. This was a major cultural phenomenon at the time. Although the clothing, sex and drugs upset parents, it was still peaceful in intent.

Today though, we are experiencing another cultural phenomenon on a much broader scale. Unfortunately, it is more concerned with hate, as opposed to love, which leads me to call it, “The Summer of Hate,” and is ultimately motivated by the 2020 elections. During the last 30 days alone, we have witnessed a wide variety of changes to our country:

Corporate America is now frightened to be accused of racism and, as such, they are rapidly re-branding a plethora of products, including:

  • Cracker Jack and Cracker Barrel are said to be considering name changes as the “cracker” moniker is said to suggest racism, where a whip was allegedly used to keep slaves in line.
  • Rice Krispies are said to be accused of being racist as they feature three white people (“Snap,” “Crackle,” and “Pop”), but no black faces.
  • Quaker is supposed to be re-inventing the “Aunt Jamima” brand as blacks feel the character stereotypes black women as being nothing more than a cook. The same is said to be true of Uncle Ben’s Rice, and the character on the Cream of Wheat box.
  • Ice cream favorite “Eskimo Pie” is considering rebranding their product so Eskimos will not be demeaned.
  • And I’m told, PETA recently accused plain cow’s milk as a symbol of white supremacy.

This has put companies on the defensive. What’s next? Colas shouldn’t be brown? Mister Clean is too white? Pets shouldn’t wear a collar as it is demeaning? Was Jack Daniels a racist? Where does it stop? The point is, it doesn’t, at least not until after the elections. Corporate America will spend millions, if not billions, on re-branding their products so they can be in line with political correctness. This is incredibly inflationary as the companies will not eat the expense, but will inevitably pass it on to consumers instead.

Then we come to the world of entertainment and sports, whereby:

  • Movie classic, “Gone With the Wind,” arguably the greatest movie of all time, is being shelved as it discusses slavery and the Civil War.
  • Warner Brothers is said to have taken the shotgun away from cartoon’s Elmer Fudd as it poses a threat to opponents of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights (the right to bear arms).
  • It has been proposed the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball drop their team name, the “Rangers,” as it is alleged the original Rangers were racists.
  • The University of Cincinnati (UC) is considering removing the name of Marge Schott from the school’s baseball stadium. Schott, who passed away sixteen years ago, was well known as the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds. Her philanthropy was well known and she literally gave away millions to a variety of charities, including two million dollars to build the UC stadium. Yet, she is now charged with racism. Marge may have been rough around the edges, but she had a generous heart. My question is, where were the charges of racism when she made her donations? Hypocrites.
  • Both the National Football League and NASCAR now claim it is okay to take a knee when the National Anthem is played. What does this teach our youth, that it is okay to disrespect the country? Au revoir NFL and NASCAR.

These acts by the entertainment and sports industries are trying to alter our sense or morality and patriotism through political correctness.

Then we have the problem of defacing or tearing down historical icons of our past:

  • A Seattle statue of the “Father of our Country,” George Washington, was pulled down. Other historical plaques and statues are facing similar fates, such as that of our Third President Thomas Jefferson, the principal writer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as Presidents Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt, and discoverer Christopher Columbus. Even a statue of “the Great Emancipator,” Abraham Lincoln, may be removed in Boston, and a statue of Union General Ulysses S. Grant, representing the side freeing the slaves, was toppled. Remarkably, a statue of Lenin stands proudly in Seattle untouched (and No, I do not mean John Lenon). Interestingly, Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the USSR, was responsible for the creation of the Gulag concentration camps where upwards to 70,000 people were used for slave labor, and 14K-20K members of the clergy were executed. Yet, his statue in Seattle is unblemished.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D), has also ordered the removal or paintings and statues of former Speakers who had a connection to slavery and the Confederacy, even though they served as Speakers well before the Civil War.

What’s next? Most likely we will see a changing of our currency and coins, whereby our founding fathers will be re-examined for their attitudes and the far-Left will demand their removal. I do not think the critics will be happy until they have re-written the history of the 18th & 19th centuries, which I personally consider the most interesting history of all. We will also likely see the 20th century challenged as well.

More immediately, we are seeing the emergence of political settlements, such as Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), who are trying to bar the police and re-create a form of government with a Socialist agenda. Actually, this is anarchy at work and what we can expect in the coming months. The organizers claim they want to defund police departments, but the reality is they want to obliterate them. Without a form of law and order, they will be allowed to run amok and tear society apart. As to Trump Republicans, the Left continues to harass their opponents, as seen at the recent Trump Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Make no mistake, these zones are designed to provoke confrontation with authorities, particularly police. Ideally, the anarchists want a fight, much like the 1968 Chicago DNC riots, to make the police look bad, or to ignite a battle featuring lethal weapons.

Undoubtedly, much more is on the way, particularly as we get closer to the election.

  • We will witness attacks on conservatives and the Trump campaign.
  • We will witness more attacks on our institutions, our culture, and our sense of right and wrong.
  • We will witness more attacks on our history and icons.
  • And we will witness attacks along racial lines as identity politics will be actively used. These attacks will only turn the clock backwards in terms of race relations, certainly not forward.
  • The mantra for the summer is simple, “Attack, Attack, Attack,” and never apologize.

This is all from the playbook of the far-Left, who is trying to reinvent our sense of history, values, culture, and government. It is also intended to make white people feel ashamed, but I contend this will backfire on the Democrats as people finally say, “Enough is Enough!” Watch for a massive push-back in November from the silent majority, you know, the people who work hard for a living, pay taxes, and just want peace and prosperity. The harder the Left pushes now, the more it dooms the chances of the Democrats in November. It is interesting to see how hatred can drive a political campaign. All of this is a reflection of the desperation of the Democrats.

So, get ready for “The Summer of Hate.” Frankly, the drug smoking hippies of 1967 do not sound too bad anymore, do they?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!


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EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

They’re Just Committing the Crimes Americans Won’t Commit


Francisco Sanchez murderer of Kathryn Steinle from San Francisco, an illegal alien who was deported 5 times.

With the San Francisco woman murdered by one of Barack Obama’s “new Americans,” we should ask: how much innocent blood will be spilled on the altar of the Left’s “fundamental transformation” of America? While callow and cowardly corporations are severing ties with Donald Trump because he dared speak a truth in an age of lies, the reality of far too many of the illegals invading our country is this:

They’re just committing the crimes Americans won’t commit.

Some will say, of course, that Americans sometimes do such evil as well. But it’s also true that Americans do sometimes take the menial jobs so often performed by illegals, yet we nonetheless hear the statement, “They’re just doing the jobs Americans won’t do.” So since we’re indulging rhetoric and generalizations here, turnaround is fair play.

Will people ever rise up and make that sickening agenda-facilitating suppression of truth known as political correctness exactly what it should be: a recognized vile heresy, to be stamped out with extreme prejudice? I recently heard someone take exception to the term “illegals,” making that now stale point that “no one is illegal” (cue the tiny violin). This person argued that bank robbers break the law as well, but we don’t brand them “illegals.” Point taken. We call bank robbers “criminals.”

And if the Left wants to apply the same descriptive to illegal aliens, it works for me.

(Or would “undocumented criminals” be preferable?)

It would be wholly accurate, too. Generally lost in our self-flagellating, suicidal pander-fest is that every illegal migrant is a criminal by definition. This is why the lying Left — ever engaging in language manipulation — dislikes the word “illegal”: accurate terminology relates the truth of a matter. This is intolerable when your agenda is completely contrary to Truth.

An even better adjective for illegals, however, is “invaders.” And Francisco Sanchez, the vile murderer of the San Francisco woman, Kathryn Steinle, certainly fits the bill. He repeatedly invaded our country for the purposes of destruction, dealing drugs and being convicted of felonies seven times until he finally took a life. Yet he is not the only one culpable in his malevolent act.

What do you call government officials who not only abdicate their responsibility to halt an invasion, but actually aid and abet it? Quislings? Traitors? Leftists? But I repeat myself.

These terms are not too strong. I previously reported on Obama’s plan to “seed” communities around America with foreigners who would, as the scheme goes, “navigate” and not assimilate as they “push citizens into the shadows” (that is, those they don’t push into graves). Again, what do you call such people?

It isn’t just Obama, of course. These traitors have many names, such as Jerry Brown, Jeb Bush, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Luis Gutierrez and Mark Zuckerberg. But, hey, who can blame them, right? They’re just pushing the policies Americans won’t push.

Unfortunately and as has been said before, treason today is now the norm. If you don’t drink deeply of the cup of multiculturalism, internationalism, Western demographic genocide and cultural suicide, you’re a “nativist” or, worse still, a “racist,” the latter of which has just come to mean “anything bad” to young skulls full of mush whose now putrefying gray matter endured endless sanitary spin cycles in the propaganda mills masquerading as universities. The inmates not only run the asylum, they’re numerous enough to classify the normal as abnormal. You’re a boy who’s sure he’s a girl? You’re white but identify as black? You think an invader is the equivalent of a citizen? Those people who’d cramp your style with that pesky Objective Reality are the problem. Off to re-education camps with them.

Another fancy is that Mexico isn’t a dangerous enemy. If you’re an illegal alien in Mexico, the best thing that can happen to you  is that you merely get deported; also possible is that the police will beat you Pelosi-senseless or even kill you (it’s said that you can buy your way of a fatal hit-and-run in Mexico for $450; the rule of law isn’t exactly big there). And no ACLU will come running and sue the government on your behalf. None of this stops that dysfunctional cartel-ridden nation from issuing its people actual instructions on how to better invade the U.S. and game our system. Nor does it stop them from lecturing us on the humane treatment of undocumented criminals. This is why a real president would tell the Mexican regime that if it didn’t stop weaponizing its population against us, we’d demonstrate that borders can be transgressed both ways and make Black Jack Pershing look like a missionary.

Instead, people are more worried about the Confederate flag flying in America than the Mexican flag flying here. As for Obama and his ilk, they welcome invaders because, upon being naturalized, 70 to 90 percent of them vote for leftists. And our leftists truly would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

But who is really to blame? Our Hell-raisers are only in power because far too many of us are just voting for the politicians Americans wouldn’t vote for.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to


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