4-2020 Prof. Michael Levitt, Stanford University Interviews of Why Lock Downs Are Counter Productive.  45 min.

 I'm about time that you are watching the uptown CD. This is the pop up and use and discussion program from on high that I met during the strange and consigning lockdown weeks we have been trying to bring interesting and pretty and its brains out to you from around the well to give people time perspectives on what is actually happening, expecting to scientists and because I think school people and today I am delighted that we have a very brilliant person: Prof. Michael Levitt that stop by way of introduction. I'm your professor of computer science and structural biology at University of Stanford based at the medical school and you will win out of the 2013 Nobel prize for chemistry for what on and computer models for complex chemical interactions and since January. You have been taking a close interest in the coronavirus pandemic and said that's just dive straight and basically say what while the rest of the well. Many of us haven't even really noticed the coronavirus issues you already following the numbers very close to coming out of China has not said basically my wife is actually a curator of Chinese art and as a result we spend quite a lot of time in China. We had been there until the end of November last year and that we have lots of friends that when the outbreak starts today and were crying, I think I first heard about 20 January which is just before the Chinese spring festival. New yeah and we were very concerned for our friends. We wrote them a kind of concerning message on the Chinese equivalent to Facebook and what chuckled. We checked wishing and basically they were very excited to get something you do some of the work world. So I then decided that maybe I should have used my skills with numbers. The numbers first compared this is probably 25th or 25th of January and by that time we had a five 2010 case. Is there any maybe 100 or so that and the history just to compare coronavirus to the stars, which you already scared about it was clear that coronavirus was growing much much person very first thing I noticed even before I sent numbers China actually had two separate outbreaks in those days we get to the numbers from Chinese websites. I can't be Chinese, but the fight and what resources that the outbreak in Québec province which had a much much higher death rates in the outbreak everywhere else in China by about a factor of 15 so that was scary going on right most of our friends were not included. They were in Shanghai and Beijing so interesting. I pointed out that the death rates in Coos Bay was about four or 5%. Where is our technical date was 1/10 we went to think of that. Then I start to get more into the numbers and are on the east second of February I been playing with itself and to the numbers and so that the rate of increase tickets for slowing down is a very easy thing to do if you take the number of guests today. The total number that's that's basically a 25% increase between 18 hundred is the day afterwards increase is no longer 25%. It's a 22% that they are the rich 18% you start to feel his break rates are going on, but for exponential growth number should be the same every day should be 50% 15% 50% to whatever number is growing up so need to slow down the ratio of today divided by yesterday either S or for deaths indicates Lori are on the twitter on 2 February I noticed that there were four days in a row. With it being a steady linear decrease in the ratio of yesterday and basically wrote a reach Message like my right, but that's the same people are friends saying that things looked like it was snowing.we then got in a plane and flew from Israel to New York City and when I landed them over these emails we think are you the micro level II posted this message in Chinese saying that everything is slowing down and what happened is that somebody had taken the two pages of PDF that I sent them to the Chinese and actually posted this on the Facebook equivalent for the 20 equipment in China in wishing and there were already 2 million music that is taught is paying attention every single day without. Each day the total number of cases is always increasing the number of new cases increases and gets to maximum for an academic you get from maximum and then decreases at the same rate now. He epidemics both in China include day in China at half past Coos Bay and I kept looking at them separately both behaved very well. They basically got to them actually started slowing down was relatively easy. Maybe by 15 February to predict the total discounts for the academic inside her birthday as well as the death at the outset. Québec was about 3000 inside today about 120 outside today so that was basically how things where the city noticed that the time was less than the exponential because the we might fit in those days. In some ways, it was never any exponential growth from the minute I looked at its it would never any today that exactly the same growth rate and were getting slower. Chris, you could have known that exponential growth which every single day. They getting more than expenditure, but the growth was always some exponential that the stress that safety because we we talk of the lease and we told you about the all reproduction rates, and I began very quiet. Maybe as high as three analysis down we've got it down the wind in the UK. Intuitively, if there is a high reproduction rate. You should see exponential coaches going up but not will wait for your cases to see the DB zero, which is very popular is that is a summary of the defaulted number and explain why the rates of growth just depend on zero. It depends on zero and the tender infectious. If you have twice as long, infectious and half the R0 you get exactly the same grocery and this is still looking to, but is not explained and therefore it seems to me that I would stay at the present time. A lot of I think R0 became so important, movies with very popular talk about R0 and the other just talk about R0 but looking on the mathematics you have to specify the time infectious at the same time to have any meaning in the public that R0 decreases. We don't know why R0 decreases. It could be social distancing could be trying to communicate. It could be cases that you can setting the shapes that these somehow the tenants to come down on the contents. The flaxen in some kind of natural way with God is that what you don't know. I think the big test is going to be sweeping. Three is practicing 11 social distancing that is keeping children in schools keeping people at work. There are obviously having more deaths than countries like Israel or Austria and are practicing very very strict social distancing, but I think it is not a crazy policy. The reason I felt that social distancing was unimportant is that I had two examples in China to start with and then we had the additional the top of the first one was Korea that is dry and it's in the beginning of all the epidemics show the slowing down and it was very hard for me to believe that those three countries could affect the social distancing as well. This China China was amazing, especially outside today and that they had no additional outbreaks. People left today with very Detract have to weigh facemasks all the time to take the temperatures all the time and it was not for the outbreaks. So, this did not happen in either in South Korea or in Chile or murine not to let it slip into something else is just that social distancing might not be important now is that the total number of guests with seeing in New York City in parts of England and parts of France nor the intensity will seem to stop at about the same protection of the population, so are they poor practicing equally good social distancing. I don't think so. The problem I think is that outbreaks occurring in different regions. I think social distancing that stuff people moving from London to Manchester is probably a really good idea. My feeling is, is that in London and New York City, for the people who got infected will got infected before anybody noticed is no way that the infection grew so quickly New York City without the infection spreading very quickly. Some of the key things is to stop people know that the estate and infecting others in here again. China has three very very important advantages that that are not high-tech that don't involve security tracking of telephones were being involved is number one distancing China for US of wearing the facemask when you're sick. As soon as the coronavirus God said everybody wore at facemask doesn't have to be hygienic just happy face covering that struck you spring saliva microscope at the survivor saliva and some mutual. The second thing in China is that the SARS epidemic it was so scared in most airports stations where you pay tolls, etc. that are for mom protects infrared thermometers measure your temperature to having your temperature measured at every single store entrance either with a handheld compartment to over something out there in the world is something completely standard in China and the sad thing is is that almost all payments in China need not use your credit card. In some senses. It is very very much easy and that the practice the social distancing of coast. In addition, they know when people are what kills you all see I'm locked down policy so many European countries and states in America. I think it is the huge mistake. I think we need smart lockdown. If we were to do this again, we would probably insist on facemasks and sanitizes and some kind of payment that did not involve touching right from the very beginning. This would slow down you outbreaks and I think the for example, they found, as I understand that children even if there infecting every six adults. So why do we not have children at school. Why do we not have people working England is reaching England France it's in the Sweden, Belgium, Holland, are all reaching levels of saturation to be very reckless to have immunity. So basically I'm getting a good thing. I think the politics that immunity is the right policy. I think Britain was on exactly the right track before they were fed wrong numbers and they made a huge mistake I see the stand.when is as Germany and Sweden. They didn't practice too much lockdown they got enough people seek to get some food immunity. The standoff loses countries like Austria are straining their Israel actually had very very stiff lockdown but didn't have many cases they have damaged their economies course through massive social damage damage the educational year of the children but not obtain any community. I think in many ways the European countries and will find they didn't need to have lockdown. They have would've only reached a high enough level of infection not to have to worry about the future attacks coronavirus United States seems to be heading that way. That sent me that way New York City, but they still have a long way to go. What you're saying is that you believe success as we are currently measuring which is you cases as possible in the smallest spread of the virus as possible is actually fascia. I think if you really control your your present the California hats now have lockdown for six weeks and was another four weeks they had so far, less than 100 deaths that mean they don't have more of 100,000 people. That is not enough to give them significant community. They didn't need to do or that lockdown and tonight is particularly helpful in countries that do have good social infrastructure, countries like the United States and Israel. Many, many people have been really really hurt especially young people, and I think that the everybody panic, and they were fed incorrect numbers by geologists, and that you know this. I think led to a situation is no doubt in my mind that when he comes back on this. The damage done by Dr. will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor. 1 Very Easy Way to see this is that and again I'm getting it to sense the territory here, but economics economist three. Simple way of looking at death they don't count. People come to the conclusion that if you're 20 and you die. That's a greater loss if you're 85 and you die and it's a hard issue, but in some ways you know are we evaluating the potential of future life of the 20-year-old are we valuing the loss of local senior P person not by what's called DA Elway disability adjusted life years and basically if somebody is in the 80s. Health has Alzheimer's disease and then dies from pneumonia get you to Corona and that is less of a loss, that if a 15-year-old is riding his motorcycle, but his bike and gets a note this is an important way of looking at the death it's also you know right now we know that the number of excess deaths in Europe is around 130,000 so yesterday. This is for only the this is for a population of around 330 million people. So in excess of 100,000 for this whole year is actually not that much in some of the worst two epidemics we get to those kinds of numbers. Sometimes the Lord some hazards of the next. I'm not saying you is like coronavirus and just simply saying that the burden of death through is like coronavirus, specially when we correct for the fact that people who die from coronavirus old average and people who die from fruit to kill young people. It kills two or three times more people under 65 than this coronavirus if we put those facts into the situation we find that the burden of debt from coronavirus finished show will in your we have good numbers less than that of a very very true that another factor which is not been considered all cancer patients are on to be treated over the hearts of cardiology patients are being treated. I put estimates of tens of thousands of people who are basically going to be dying because of the left of that treatment. And generally, again, the age group who die of cancer are younger than the age group would die coronavirus and is 1 Very Easy Way to summarize coronavirus typewritten article in the median in response to an article by the pretty famous British statistician said they will speak about the Cambridge and he had said that the numbers coming from Ferguson and suggested that we had to lose about one year of people tell you that in fact that I immediately wrote an article in the same even reply to him saying that in fact the Onset was actually one month, not one year to basically use my feeling is that it's been supported by the numbers that the amount of excess that you need to reach saturation on the record ahead immunity with the virus by itself stock is on the order of four weeks of excess get you some idea in the European area where there is good monitoring by a website called euro normal run out of Denmark. It covers about 300 million people every week in Europe. That area is around 50,000 natural deaths to four weeks will be about 200,000 extra deaths in that year and it looks like coronavirus in Europe with no doubt that the most severely hit area or the world will probably reach around 200,000 or four weeks worth. So what happens if I am saying is that the source of that seems to be a statistical observation which is around four weeks of excess, that and then the pandemic seems to teach arousal begin to fight. Now what does that mean policy wise East European countries that if we could protect the old people perfectly, then the death rates would be very low for for example in Europe. I think there were about 940,000 excess deaths. The last thing. Nine weeks the number of those excess debts are younger than 65 is about 10%. Basically 15,000 of the hundred and 30,000 deaths are actually under 65 years old so and if we had said to be able to take out all of the people in the death rate would've been much, much less the key thing is to have as much infection for as little possible that Amcor said do what you can to keep the hospitals school but not overflowing. It's a difficult calculation. It's one in which a company like Sweden can do essentially has no political concerns. The trouble is, is that in Israel that I know well in the United States. The everything is political, and therefore nobody could say something like this. They protect that you're not valuing that the best thing that should've been done is for the media just for the people that every day somebody dies, and these people are essentially the same age band from Corona have the comorbidity of the disease and I have become a huge fan of Twitter. I never used Twitter before, and to meet with. It is the best discussion forum. I had seen since I was a student at the Cambridge aversive methodology which is a 26 about price when a lap the best lab in the world. The 20 discussion is phenomenal in getting documents with it to the sharing that many of the code, the debts, you could get the point of attested wealth that had up to three of the conditions, so this is nothing wrong with this, people die with the reason that the news should be stressing this and maybe they should be counting it as a .1 of the countries seem to be racing as many cope with this as they could. And this is a huge mistake in the season about these people in the total number of Kroger deaths in Europe will be very specific to question via two season and you know that this is serious through is a serious disease. Maybe we should just shut down economy during the season. We need people people should have been made to understand that unfortunately I think in Britain. They started out wanting to go for her community without too much lockdown was then scary paper, which is likely to be retracted, which interest is that he is well with basically disclaim the committee just spend a moment on that you had some specific queries about Neil Ferguson's paper. We had repeat on this last week said what what you think you got wrong denies models and predictions so that his work was on modeling in the paper that I saw Christie the preprints and initially he finds I was following China break in and around 10 February. He had his first paper that I still in that he was getting a case totality ratio of around 50% where all my observations were saying that it was around three or 4%. I was suspicious. I looked at the paper very carefully and in a note to a table, it said, assuming exponential growth for six days at 15% today. I had looked to China and never at the scene explained to the growth that wasn't the king rapidly. Sarah suspicious. My numbers were about 10% next one to 10% of the number that Ferguson had obtained. I basically pointed this out and reply to the medium which is in out there, it's clear. Nobody has ever seen it but it's that night decided to just give me likes and the said that it was much more like one month than one year and an exchange both speak of how to and Ferguson where I try to show my case basically saying that when I was doing was just simple proportionality using exactly the same profile of different ages have different death rates so that the profile saying the keeper of the ET have a certain fraction of the test people between seven and eight have a different fraction just using that data from almost anywhere. It could be set correctly. It could be woken could be anywhere in just simply saying we want the number of deaths that occurred on the diamond Prince tests to be the same number that we found which was seven or eight. To do that and then you apply that's proportionality to Britain and the USA. We find that for Britain being half a million bucks to about 50,000 in the United States to million up to 200,000. Essentially, yeah, the prince will not safety the argument that is made is this whether you believe the infection for tax rates is not .3% to whether you believe it's not .8%. There is still a big chunk of the population. The majority of this new presence had been exposed to the disease as a habit and therefore if we just let it rip that there will be many, many times, possibly even hundreds according to present 37 thousand that I'm not swayed explicity tightly not an option, to be at do anything other than for the other two courses person what you say what they say is that the World Health Organization and that we get the gemologist in general can only go wrong if they get done with that's more like I said it's going to be 1 billion deaths from coronavirus and it's all sorry you guys have done what I said is anything to be 100,000 that is considered good policy. The overestimated goods through by a factor. The hundred 10,000 people regarding God and wrote about this Ebola was overestimated by a factor behind what I think needs to be a role as scaring people into doing something I can understand that and there's something to be said for you could practice lockdown with severe economic costs and zero social costs next to me that the public is is that those costs are huge. Were going to have the talent system hostile hospitals being closed down there to have additional children in trauma were going to have businesses damaged may be listed in the UK because of the competition policy that setting method economic damage in the USA and Israel and other countries. So you need to balance both of these things and you know I it seems to me that that that's what I don't think is responsible and in my work if I say the number is too small and I'm wrong or nothing is too big and I'm on both of those errors are the same time take this into high or 10% to love that is okay. It seems that being a factor of a thousand. Too high is perfectly okay and in theology being effective 32. Low is too low. I think about what this means for the UK and for these countries. The time to work out what's the next is your view that the numbers that if we had not implemented lockdown, we would have seen a fall off. Anyway, is that it is not that summary we could have had smart lockdown. Sweden for example doesn't allow gatherings of more than 50 people. I think a football game would be a really bad idea right now is people shots and therefore spray saliva on everyone around them and they could infect loves people and that you know Sweden is doing fine and that just again a very localized to nursing homes like are in the same profile and I think that to you now and again Sweden took all the evidence suggests that termite contradictions before breaking if they had done nothing would've had reports of the deaths not limited to just been reported that my numbers all reported that we have full weeks of additional report to get when the numbers actually came in from work with a real excess deaths. My guess is they would be less than that. So we would not be double what it was in the month of May. He wanted three courses or so on so that is my feeling was seeing this in Europe. We will know the onset in three or four weeks time we will know for one of your exactly what the excess debt of coronavirus wants right now it's 137,000 two finds Wendy for making these points on medium on the media that you received a lot of plastic thing that's a lot of political pressure and as an academic unit that one of your colleagues and staff. The unity asses also put out studies that seem to become skeptical and has received a lot of this is just one that I'm with you to experience that. I went and seen and once that he was seeing in the canvassing of London. I kid on Fox news a couple of times basically said there were just common sense. Because I appeared on Fox news CNN would have many more for basically I have said very clever things had one article in the Los Angeles Times did great, but sometimes not saying things that were too extreme on the East Coast newspapers wanted me they quoted me, but they wouldn't have made were disconcerting is secure. My academic colleagues, even relatives with area separately by earlier writings, I published a report that was released to media report from 22 March the 14th or 15th of March I distributed a 19 page report will with three academics got very upset with me. I think they were totally panicked and they felt that if anyone thought this is true they wouldn't lockdown as tightly as they should inspect transit for the people again. There are no hard feelings. One final question, what was your prognosis what you think is now can happen with this and if you think we now what is that they will be arrested and maybe countries will start to see that they need governments that are not necessarily the great in the tarry, but actually thinking and doing things I have to go back and think about what Socrates said 2400 years ago. Use your common sense is that the sixth rhetorical needs and we become very influenced by that, I think also what should happen is that some very strange here I think this is another follow-up on the part of the day people. I am a real baby boomer I was born in 1947, 73 years old, but I think we've really screwed up cause pollution we allowed the world population increased three folding my lifetime more we cross the purpose of verbal warping and not even the your your generation with a real mess it was to say I really small number of very old people if I was a young person. Now I would say now you guys are going to take the this is we have a family works out in very early on I said this is a virus and designed to get rid of the baby boomers and not know. I think my wife thinks is going to be a seachange or we're going to have the time to burn the street saying you guys have really screwed up, it's time to go and I always joke with her and saying that these have made lots of friends among the young people. I'll be okay, but quite frankly and I've had a great life and I do my strongest key young faces in front of me and the grandson is 17. I'd much rather have young people and you for a very long time. They said I do have a bar that was 105 years old living in London with my brother. She's in lockdown and I took to have my work Every single day on FaceTime. She's fine. She still uses her phone and so on. So you is differences you gush to get out there and do something don't accept this anymore. We screwed that too much. Thank you so very much for your time like that shack that was Prof. Michael let it be. Thanks to him is €105 a month that we sincerely hope she is doing well here in London. He is the process of structural biology and computer science at Stanford. He was the recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize for chemistry and he was saying that some of his views looking at things and some of the different angles on the #goal time in a safe or that he knows the angle and here on HUD. We want to get these different opinions. Einstein allow you to make your and my gut say thank you to him. We will be back next with Prof. Streep of the University of components has just completed the thoughtfully detailed study of seroprevalence that is you proceed to the coronavirus and he will be signing the findings with us on Monday so we did.