Coronavirus: Nobel laureate says U.S. will have quicker COVID-19 recovery

Coronavirus: Nobel laureate says U.S. will have quicker COVID-19 recovery
STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 09: Stanford University School of Medicine biophysicist Michael Levitt speaks during a news conference after winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry on October 9, 2013 at Stanford University in Stanford, California. Michael Levitt shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Martin Karplus of Harvard University, and Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California, for their development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Nobel laureate at Stanford University says he sees signs that the United States may get through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic well before many health experts have predicted.

Michael Levitt, who is a biophysicist at Stanford, told the Los Angeles Times that his interpretation of data about the novel coronavirus does not support other reports of a massive wave of novel coronavirus infections and deaths in the United States.

Levitt said he can see a better outcome in the U.S. than has been seen in China, Italy or Iran, especially with reasonable social distancing measures in place.

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“What we need is to control the panic,” Levitt, who won a Noble Prize in chemistry in 2013, told the Times. “… We’re going to be fine,” he said.

Levitt was remarkably accurate in his assessment of when China would begin to see a decline in COVID-19 cases in a report he shared with friends early in February. He forecast China would see around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. As of March 16, China had 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths.

Levitt predicted the decline in cases about three weeks before it happened by looking at the number of new cases reported daily and plotting the decline in the growth of the spread of the virus.

Levitt stressed that social-distancing mandates are critical in decreasing the number of cases of the virus."This is not the time to go out drinking with your buddies,” Levitt said.