Nobel-prize-winning scientist from Stanford said in an interview published Sunday that, according to his models, the lock-downs didn’t save lives, but actually caused more deaths, Zero Hedge pointed out.
Prof Michael Levitt, a British-American-Israeli who shared the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2013 for the “development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”, has said for two months that the planet will beat coronavirus faster than most other experts predict.
Levitt’s projections on the pandemic were much closer to the mark than the often quoted Nile Ferguson of Imperial College coronavirus models. The Jewish Voice previously reported on Ferguson’s projections. Ferguson’s model projected 2.2 million dead people in the United States and 500,000 in the U.K. from COVID-19 if social distancing and other measures were not taken.
As early as march, Levitt warned that Ferguson’s projections had over-estimated the potential death toll by “10 or 12 times”, Zero Hedge reported.
Instead of helping the situation, Fergusons’ projections created an unnecessary “panic virus” which spread among global political leaders, Prof Levitt told the Telegraph in a recent interview.
“I think lockdown saved no lives,” said the scientist, who added that the Government should have encouraged Britons to wear masks and adhere to other forms of social distancing.
“I think it may have cost lives. It will have saved a few road accident lives – things like that – but social damage – domestic abuse, divorces, alcoholism – has been extreme. And then you have those who were not treated for other conditions.”
Having assessed the initial outbreak in China and from the infected Diamond Princess cruise ship, he predicted by March 14 that the UK would lose around 50,000 lives. Prof Ferguson’s modelling that same week estimated up to 500,000 deaths without social distancing measures.
“I think that the real virus was the panic virus,” Prof Levitt told the Telegraph. “For reasons that were not clear to me, I think the leaders panicked and the people panicked and I think there was a huge lack of discussion..
The 73-year-old has no background as an epidemiologist, but he assessed the outbreak in China and prepared a paper based on his own calculations. Most countries, he predicted, would suffer a Covid-19 death rate worth around an extra month in excess deaths over the calendar year, The Telegraph reported.
“In Europe, I don’t think that anything actually stopped the virus other than some kind of burnout,” he added. “There’s a huge number of people who are asymptomatic so I would seriously imagine that by the time lockdown was finally introduced in the UK the virus was already widely spread. They could have just stayed open like Sweden by that stage and nothing would have happened.”
Professor Levitt has now analysed the data from 78 nations with more than 50 reported cases of coronavirus. His investigations proved the virus was never going to achieve the type of exponential growth that the researchers at Imperial were predicting at the same time, according to The Telegraph.
In early May, Levitt was interviewed on “Unherd” an online news program broadcast on YouTube, where he made a similar argument as he does in the Telegraph interview
You can watch that interview below.