Challenging the widespread belief that the worldwide anti-coronavirus lockdown has helped in slowing down the disease spread, Stanford Professor Michael Levitt said that it’s actually made very little difference.
Speaking to RT’s Going Underground, Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Levitt said that there was no reason to doubt China’s official coronavirus figures, since its statistics are corresponding with the dynamics observed elsewhere.
“What happened in China outside of Hubei is exactly the same dynamics of the curve as what happened in New Zealand,” Levitt stated. “If China is forging statistics, they must have a time machine. And if they have the time machine, they would’ve beaten us in any competition anyway.”
The lockdown measures that have been implemented across many countries worldwide were actually not that effective, the scientist believes. The vast majority of the disease transmissions actually occurred before the lockdowns went into force – and in many countries the people were not that eager to abide by the rules, making the restrictions even more useless. Levitt believes that the best strategy for the government would have been focusing on protecting the elderly population and let others move freely.
“This virus really does seem to be limiting. It gets to about 500 to 1,000 fatalities per million people and then it stops. And this we’ve seen at so many places. I don’t think that Northern Italy practiced wonderful social distancing, I don’t think that social distancing was practiced wonderfully in New York City,” he said.
What happened is that the virus is most infectious and most dangerous before you actually know it’s there.
Sweden, for instance, which has been harshly criticized for its laissez-faire approach to the pandemic, remains within the European averages – and even falls behind the worst-hit nations, such as Belgium and the UK.
“Sweden has had a much milder lockdown than anybody. The predicted number for Sweden was around 60,000 [deaths]. Sweden looks like it’s going to stop at 6,000 at the most,” Levitt said.