‘Contagion’ — Film’s medical adviser reveals he has coronavirus

Some “Contagion” scenes reflect Dr. Ian Lipkin’s own experiences in Beijing when he assisted the World Health Organization and the Chinese Health Ministry during the 2003 SARS outbreak.

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Anna Jacoby-Heron and Matt Damon are shown in a scene from the film “Contagion.”

Anna Jacoby-Heron and Matt Damon are shown in a scene from the 2011 film “Contagion.”

AP

The esteemed medical adviser behind the pandemic movie”Contagion,”Dr. Ian Lipkin, has revealed he has contracted thecoronavirus.

Lipkin, director of theCenter for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, who advised director Steven Soderbergh on the realistic 2011 movie, revealed his condition after discussing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic onFox’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Tuesday.

A few minutes after giving a dry cough during the remote segment, Lipkin said, “I would like to say on this show tonight, this has become very personal to me, too. Because I have COVID as of yesterday. It’s miserable.”

“If it can hit me, it can hit anybody. That’s the message I want to convey,” he added.

Lipkin declined to specify how or from whom he might have acquired the disease. “Itdoesn’t matter. This virus is all over the united States,” he said.

Lipkin continued to push themes in the coronavirus battle during the segment, including red-flaggingPresident Donald Trump’sdeclaration about the country relaxingits stay-at-home policy byEaster weekend, April 11.

“We really don’t know when we’re going to get this under control,” said Lipkin, who called for harmonizingrestrictions across the country. “We have porous borders between states and cities, and unless we’re consistent, we’re not gonna get ahead of this thing.”

“The best tool we have is isolation and confinement,” said Lipkin.

USA TODAY has reached out to Lipkin for further comment.

The widely respected Lipkin was persuaded to work with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and Soderbergh on “Contagion”since “this was an effort to accurately represent the science and to make a movie that would entertain as well as educate,” he toldColumbia University’s newsletterin 2011.

Some “Contagion” scenes reflect Lipkin’s own experiences in Beijing when he assisted the World Health Organization and the Chinese Health Ministry during the 2003 SARS outbreak in 2003.He became ill and was quarantined when he returned to the U.S.

Advising throughout production, Lipkin shared his experiencewith Matt Damon, offering the actor insight into what it feels like to be behind glass and cut off from loved ones.

Read more at usatoday.com

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