Head Epidemiologist, Doctors Hospital, Coral Gables
Dr. Richard Levine graduated from Albany Medical College and went on to become an infectious disease specialist, now practicing for 40-plus years. As the leading epidemiologist for Doctors Hospital, he was part of the task force that Baptist South Florida set up to deal with the pandemic coronavirus. He was with Doctors when the Ebola and Sars viruses hit, which gave him and his team vital experience.
Oversaw Doctors Hospital’s treatment of scores of patients with COVID-19, keeping fatalities to a minimum (lost two elderly patients to stroke) and successfully using a variety of cutting-edge treatments to get all other patients off ventilators and return them to health. Kept infections of the nurses and respiratory therapists to only a few cases.
What He Says
“The cases are definitely going down, and I think the social distancing and the staying home has made a critical difference. I am proud of what the city has done in this way,” says Dr. Richard Levine. When asked what he expects will happen next, he says, “My concern is for college kids and children going back to school in September… I am concerned that asymptomatic infections will come home and infect parents and grandparents.” The only answer, he says, is a vaccine. “Everyone says testing is the answer. But it’s impossible to test everyone… Ultimately, it’s the vaccine that will be the answer, the thing that is going to save us… [In the meantime] What we need are aggressive studies of treatment modalities.”