Head medical consultant for movie ‘Contagion’ has coronavirus
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The doctor who was the chief scientific consultant for the pandemic film “Contagion” says he has coronavirus.

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, the director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, shared his diagnosis while talking about the virus on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Fox Business Network Tuesday night.

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, the director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity.Columbia University

“I would just like to say, on this show tonight, that this has become very personal to me too because I have COVID as of yesterday,” Lipkin said. “And it is miserable, it is miserable.”

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The doctor had coughed a couple of times during the interview.

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

The doctor was the lead medical advisor for Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 movie “Contagion,” a film about a highly-contagious and deadly virus spreading throughout the world as medical researchers and public health officials struggle to stop the pandemic.

Earlier in the segment, Lipkin stressed that the country shouldn’t rush to return to business as usual.

“With respect to what we were talking about in terms of Easter, we really don’t know when we’re going to get this under control,” Lipkin told David Asman, filling in for Dobbs, who self-quarantined after one of his team members tested positive for coronavirus.

“It’s extraordinarily important that we harmonize whatever restrictions we have across the country because we have porous borders between states, between cities, and unless we’re consistent, we’re not going to get ahead of this thing,” Lipkin said.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he wants the country up and running again by Easter Sunday, which is April 12.

“I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said during a Fox News interview. Many health experts and local and state leaders have heavily cautioned against easing restrictions too early.

“The very best tool we have is isolation and confinement,” Lipkin said. “We need to protect ourselves.”

Image: Elisha FieldstadtElisha Fieldstadt

Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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