Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor, and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, believed that the government’s decision to conduct an economic lockdown did more harm than good.

Levitt believed that the shutdown had cost more lives than it saved, “I think lockdown saved no lives.” In contrast to some politician’s authoritarian demands to extend the state’s lockdown, the award-winning scientist believed that proper hygiene, using facial covers, would have been enough to flatten the curve. “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,” Levitt said.

He continued to say that the real threat was the “panic virus.” He believed that some government leaders have simply caved in to fear without having real discussions. The professor also jabbed at his fellow scientists for inciting more fear and paranoia, “The problem with epidemiologists is that they feel their job is to frighten people into lockdown.” He continued by saying that oftentimes, scientists would raise the alarm and give grim predictions when in fact, it was just a “part of the madness.”

Initially, Levitt made headlines after he correctly predicted the trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic. The British media outlet, The Telegraph, wrote that the scientist had sent a message to Professor Neil Ferguson, a prominent government advisor, claiming that he had over-estimated the coronavirus death toll by approximately “10 to 12 times”. The model which Ferguson used shed little understanding of the nature of the coronavirus and instead used as a tool for the British government to spread unnecessary fear and panic.

Recently, Ferguson was involved in a sex scandal after he was caught breaking the government’s quarantine order to visit his married lover. The affair had prompted the government adviser’ to leave his post at the Imperial College.

Indeed, even Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, expressed the state’s costly regret as a result of coronavirus panic. The project in question was the $21 million field hospital in Brooklyn, New York, which was then authorized by the Mayor during the height of the coronavirus outbreak. Initially, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, a makeshift hospital, was intended to provide additional bed space for coronavirus patients and relieve overcrowded health facilities.

Unfortunately, the site which was opened on May 4 had already closed down, without seeing a single coronavirus patient.

Cohen claimed that as a part of their preparations for the worst-case scenario, the New York City government had expected to see the virus spread at “breakneck speed” and feared that coronavirus patients might overwhelm hospitals. “We did so only with a single-minded focus: saving lives,” Cohen said. However, the spokeswoman said that social distancing measures, facial coverings, and other health and safety guidelines were enough to flatten the curve.