Dr Ian Lipkin, director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University and medical advisor on the pandemic film Contagion, has revealed that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He made the revelation in a remote segment for Fox News.
"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," he said. "If it can hit me, it can hit anybody. That's the message I want to convey."
Lipkin added, "We really don't know when we're going to get this under control. We have porous borders between states and cities, and unless we're consistent, we're not gonna get ahead of this thing." The doctor advised that "the best tool we have is isolation and confinement."
In a 2011 Columbia University newsletter, Lipkin had written that he took on the medical advisor job on Contagion because "this was an effort to accurately represent the science and to make a movie that would entertain as well as educate."
The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z Burns, has witnessed a resurgence of popularity in recent weeks. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow as a businesswoman who unwittingly brings a lethal pathogen to the United States after shaking hands with a Macau chef, the movie has many parallels with current events. Like the new coronavirus, the illness jumps from animals to humans in China before spreading abroad -- although in the movie it is an exponentially more deadly phenomenon, killing 26 million around the world in the first month alone.