(Right Country) – Stanford biophysicist and Nobel laureate Michael Levitt predicted the slowdown of the coronavirus in China, and now he’s predicting the same for the United States.
Levitt’s hopeful news mirrors comments made by President Donald Trump, who is assuring Americans this week that we’ll be back to work soon.
Levitt, who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, says that the data doesn’t support predictions of months, or even years, of catastrophe and upheaval along with millions of deaths.
“What we need is to control the panic,” he explained, adding, “we’re going to be fine,” Los Angeles Times reported.
Levitt had previously predicted that China, where the virus originated, would see a peak of about 80,000 cases of the virus and 3,250 deaths, after looking at the global numbers of COVID-19 in January.
As of March 24, BizPac Review notes, the actual numbers are very close with 81,588 cases reported in China and 3,281 deaths.
Levitt also noted in a report shared February 1st and also circulated on Chinese social media, there was a difference between the increase in the number of daily deaths and the rate of the increase, which had not jumped up.
“This suggests that the rate of increase in the number of deaths will slow down even more over the next week,” he wrote.
Now, taking into consideration data from 78 countries, Levitt is seeing “signs of recovery” in many of these nations, including the U.S.
“Numbers are still noisy, but there are clear signs of slowed growth,” he said, explaining that while his data is incomplete, “a consistent decline means there’s some factor at work that is not just noise in the numbers.”
Levitt agreed with strong measures put into place to stop the spread of the virus, telling the LA Times that “this is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies.”
He does, however, “also blames the media for causing unnecessary panic by focusing on the relentless increase in the cumulative number of cases and spotlighting celebrities who contract the virus,” the Times notes.
Levitt also commented that, even with the death toll so far, it is “not the end of the world.”
“The real situation is not nearly as terrible as they make it out to be,” he said.
This bolsters what Trump has been saying this week as he warns that the measures to handle the pandemic “cannot be worse” than the virus itself.
Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down. This is not a country that was built for this,” Trump said during one of his coronavirus task force’s now-daily press briefings White House on Monday, predicting that “America will again and soon be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting.”
Trump cites flu, car crash stats as he talks the way forward: America ‘wasn’t built to be shut down’ https://t.co/JOLuuQKHU3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 24, 2020
BizPac Review notes:
And while the president is regularly raked over the coals for allegedly not doing enough, or doing anything quickly enough in the battle against the highly contagious virus, voices arise like that of Levitt’s that seem to back what he has been feeling by instinct.
An Israeli expert in epidemic modeling believes Trump’s low prediction of death rates due to coronavirus are going to prove to be more accurate than those claimed by the World Health Organization.
Dan Yamin, of Tel Aviv University heads the Laboratory for Epidemic Modeling and Analysis and agreed with the president’s comments earlier this month when he questioned the 3.4 % global fatality rate for coronavirus being cited by WHO.
“Do you know what’s most absurd?” Yamin asked in an interview with Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “That in the final analysis Trump was right. Not that the coronavirus is just plain flu – it absolutely isn’t – but as he put it: ‘This is just my hunch – way under 1 percent’ [will die].’”
“Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this month in a phone interview.
“Now, this is just my hunch,” Trump said. “Based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild – they’ll get better very rapidly, they don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor.”
“You never hear about those people, so you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population, in terms of this corona flu, and/or virus,” he added. “So you just can’t do that.”