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The Silencing of the Scientists


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Early in the Covid pandemic, Michael Levitt noticed a gradual decay of case growth rates over time in Wuhan, and many dismissed or ignored his observations on account of what they viewed were improper credentials and unconventional mathematical methods (Gompertz curves, as opposed to conventional compartmental models in epidemiology).

Some researchers went so far as to call Michael Levitt’s work “lethal nonsense,” saying he was being an irresponsible member of the scientific community by not being an epidemiologist and presenting work that Levitt’s critics believed downplayed the coronavirus.

On March 17, 2020, John Ioannidis argued that Covid severity was uncertain and extreme containment policies such as lockdowns could possibly cause more harm than the pandemic itself, provoking a persistent culture of animosity towards Dr. Ioannidis, from false claims of conflicts-of-interest in 2020 to people accusing Ioannidis of “horrible science” and more.

My Experience as a “Deviant” Epidemiologist

As a mathematical biologist studying viruses jumping from bats to people for a few years prior to Covid, and as a time-series analyst with nearly a decade of experience forecasting by early 2020, I was also studying Covid since January 2020. 

I noticed the wisdom of Levitt’s Gompertz curves – Levitt found an observation I myself had found independently, of regular decays in the growth rate of cases well before cases peaked in Wuhan, and then in early outbreaks across Europe and the US. In my own work, I found evidence in February 2020 that cases were doubling every 2-3 days (midpoint estimate 2.4 days) in the early Wuhan outbreak at a time when popular epidemiologists believed Covid prevalence would double every 6.2 days.:snip:

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