'Contagion' Medical Consultant Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Says 'It Can Hit Anybody'

A medical expert who's tested positive for coronavirus has spoken up about the severity of the disease. Ian Lipkin, Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity Director, spoke with Fox Business on Tuesday about the use of blood plasma recovered from others with the disease, as well as his diagnosis.

While Lipkin was cautiously optimistic about the application, he stressed that it would be a considerable amount of time before any possible treatments to come out of these tests would be widely available. The doctor, who was also a medical consultant on the 2011 thriller Contagion, spoke frankly about his own diagnosis. "I would just like to say on this show tonight that this has become very personal for me too because I have COVID as of yesterday. And this is miserable. [If] it can hit me, it can hit anybody. That's the message I want to convey."

When asked if he knew where he got it, Lipkin said he has his theories, but ultimately, "it doesn't matter" because "this virus is all over the United States."

Earlier in the clip, Lipkin spoke about the various degrees of self-isolation that many across the country, and the world, have engaged in as a method to help slow the spread. While he refuted claims made by President Donald Trump that the country should be "opened up" by Easter Sunday, he did appreciate some of the more extreme measures larger cities have taken, as well as stress that more should be following their lead.

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"In terms of Easter, we really don't know when we're gonna get this under control," Lipkin explained. "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 gonna get ahead of this thing. Still, the very best tool is isolation and confinement. And I think what New York has done and Chicago has done, have been very, very helpful. I would like to see that implemented broadly across the United States."

As of Wednesday, there were 54,453 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 737 reported deaths, according to The CDC. As Lipkin explained, the best methods of containment are still social isolation and self-confinement whenever possible. Quite a few celebrities have spoken out on social media, urging their fans to take heed of the warnings. Then there's Michael Rapaport, who took a much more direct approach to the situation.