Starring: Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle, Bryan Cranston, John Hawkes, Elliott Gould, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sanaa Lathan
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The story follows several interacting plot lines that centers on the spread of a d**dly v**us that medical researchers and public health officials must identify and contain, deal with the loss of social order in a p****mic, and the introduction of a vaccine to stop its spread.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Somewhere in the world the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.' - Dr. Ally Hextall (Contagion) Click To Tweet 'Right now, our best defense has been social distancing. No hand shaking, staying home when you're sick, washing your hands frequently.' - Dr. Ellis Cheever (Contagion) Click To Tweet 'In order to get scared, all you have to do is to come in contact with a rumor, or the television, or the internet.' - Dr. Ellis Cheever (Contagion) Click To Tweet
[first lines; Day 2 – at the airport lounge Beth gets a call on her cell phone]
Beth Emhoff: Hey.
John Neal: Yeah, John Neal here. You just had s*x with me in a hotel and left without saying goodbye.
Beth Emhoff: Yeah, I ended up being delayed. So, sorry. I was panicking.
John Neal: Well, if I don’t get to see you again, I just wanted to say it was nice to see you again.
Beth Emhoff: Yeah, it was nice to see you too.
John Neal: And listen, use that other email I gave you. Because that’s the only secure one, okay?
Beth Emhoff: Okay.
John Neal: You alright?
Beth Emhoff: Yeah. I’m just, I’m just jet lagged and tired.
John Neal: Well, you should go home and get some rest. Hong Kong is a long way.
[looking at a footage captured on phone of a man in Tokyo convulsing to death on a bus]
Lorraine Vasquez: Why doesn’t anybody help him? Is he okay?
Alan Krumwiede: Read the posts. Some say it was staged, an art project. Some say the authorities wouldn’t do an autopsy. Covered it up.
Lorraine Vasquez: Covered what up?
Alan Krumwiede: They don’t know. Maybe Minamata disease, you know, from mercury in the fish. They’ve been outbreaks in the past. Fishing industries suppresses it, industrial disease.
Lorraine Vasquez: Yeah, but it’s just one man. We don’t even know…
Alan Krumwiede: Just one man on video. One who has the foresight to die in front of a camera. The ones we don’t see worry me. Fish is shipped all over the world from there. Now, how many people read your paper over a plate of sushi everyday?
Lorraine Vasquez: Yeah, Alan, we have almost no freelance budget anymore. And after H-one ends up…
Alan Krumwiede: You wait a few days. This will be tweeted, YouTubed all over the planet.
Alan Krumwiede: This story runs in The Chronicle, I will sue your a**!
Lorraine Vasquez: Great, okay! Bye, Alan. Don’t call me anymore.
[Alan gets up to leave]
Alan Krumwiede: Freak media is dying, Lorraine. It’s dying. I’ll save you a seat on the bus!
[Mitch comes to collect his step son who has become ill from school]
School Nurse: He said he was feeling very warm in Miss Jacobs class. I took his temperature again since I called. It’s just a touch over a hundred.
Mitch Emhoff: Okay. Well, first his mom and now the mighty Clark.
[Clark, looking ill, coughs]
Mitch Emhoff: Alright. Lets go get some soup for you and mom.
[Mitch and Clark turn to leave]
School Nurse: Hope you feel better, Clark. Okay?
Clark Morrow: Okay. Thank you.
Mitch Emhoff: Good boy. We’re going to beat this thing down by turkey day.
[Day 4 – an ill looking Beth is at home]
Mitch Emhoff: Come on. What happened to you? You take too much of that blue stuff?
[suddenly Beth collapses to the floor and starts having a seizure]
[at the hospital the doctor tries to tell a shocked Mitch that Beth died]
Dr. Arrington: So, despite all our efforts, she failed to respond.
Mitch Emhoff: Okay.
Dr. Arrington: And her heart stopped.
Mitch Emhoff: Okay.
Dr. Arrington: And unfortunately she did die.
Mitch Emhoff: Right.
Dr. Arrington: I’m sorry, Mr. Emhoff.
Social Worker: I know this is hard to accept.
Mitch Emhoff: Okay. So, can I go talk to her?
Dr. Arrington: Mr. Emhoff, I’m sorry, you’re wife is d**d.
Mitch Emhoff: What do you mean? I just saw her. We were just at home.
[after Mitch has just been told Beth has died]
Mitch Emhoff: We had dinner. We had pizza. She said she was jet lagged.
Dr. Arrington: You mentioned that she was away, Hong Kong? We checked the latest bulletins, the only things there were measles and H1N1, and this was not that.
Mitch Emhoff: Then what was it?
Dr. Arrington: We don’t always know. Some people get a disease and live. Some get sicker and die. Now, we’re going to have to notify a medical examiner, and they may request an autopsy. Or if you wish, we can order one. But I can’t guarantee it’s going to tell you anything more than I can. My best guess is this was either meningitis, or encephalitis, and with encephalitis we’re in the dark a lot of the time. Now, if it was summer, I might say a bug bite, West Nile, herpes can cause encephalitis.
Mitch Emhoff: She didn’t have herpes! What are you talking about?
[referring to Beth]
Mitch Emhoff: What happened to her?
[Arrington doesn’t know what to say]
Mitch Emhoff: What happened to her?!
Dr. Arrington: Okay. Okay. Mr. Emhoff, there are grief counselors who are very helpful with this sort of passing. Okay? You might find some resolution there. Now, I am sorry.
[Day 5 – at the World Health Organization in Switzerland]
WHO Official: How are we defining containment?
Damian Leopold: They’re using the same protocol as established for SARS. They’re quarantining the complex and screening the symptoms.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: Kowloon is the most densely populated area in the world and Hong Kong is a harbor. It’s going to spread.
Damian Leopold: Hong Kong is sending us blood samples.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: We’re also looking at samples from London. Two clusters, one at a hotel, the other a health club. Five d**d, encephalitis. And there’s the man on the bus in Tokyo, three d**d in that cluster.
WHO Official: Any of the travel to China or London?
Dr. Leonora Orantes: We’re checking.
[an autopsy is being carried out on Beth and her skull is opened]
Minnesota Medical Examiner: Hell, this whole side is obliterated. Let’s look at the base.
[they look at the base of the brain and notice something strange about Beth’s brain]
Minnesota Medical Examiner: Oh, my God!
Assistant Medical Examiner: Do you want me to take a sample?
Minnesota Medical Examiner: I want you to move away from the table.
[the assistant medical examiner moves away]
Assistant Medical Examiner: Should I call someone?
Minnesota Medical Examiner: Call everyone!
[Day 6 – Cheever is briefing Erin as she is to investigate and contain cases of the infection]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: As of last night they were five deaths, and thirty two cases.
Dr. Erin Mears: There’s a cluster in an elementary school.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Okay, that’s the kind of thing you’re going to have to be prepared for. It’s going to be all over the news big time. What’s your single overriding communications objective?
Dr. Erin Mears: We’re isolating the sick. We’re quarantining those who we believe were exposed.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Good. As of this moment, you and I are tasked at the cell phone. If you need resources, call me. If you get into a political dog fight, call me. If you find yourself wide awake, staring at the walls at three a.m. wondering why you took the job, call me.
[Mitch is in the hospital under quarantine watch, he’s on the phone to his daughter]
Jory Emhoff: When are you coming home?
Mitch Emhoff: Soon. Very soon. It’s, you know? Why don’t you go, to your mom’s?
Jory Emhoff: No!
Mitch Emhoff: Stay with her.
Jory Emhoff: No. She doesn’t need me. She’s got Dan. I live here. You don’t have anybody. I’m not leaving you!
[meeting at the Minnesota Department of Health]
Minnesota Health #3: We have forty seven cases, and eight deaths as of five this afternoon. It’s a weekend, these numbers might be low.
Minnesota Health #1: People are staying at home for a couple of days, see if it can get any better.
Dr. Erin Mears: So, at this point I think we have to believe this is respiratory. Maybe fomites too.
Minnesota Health #3: What’s that, fomites?
Dr. Erin Mears: It refers to transmission from surfaces. The average person touches their face two or three thousand times a day.
Minnesota Health #4: Two or three thousand times a day?
Dr. Erin Mears: Three to five times every waking minute. In between, we’re touching door knobs, water fountains, elevator buttons and each other. Those things become fomites.
Minnesota Health #3: Is this something we want to release to the press? Respiratory and fomites?
Minnesota Health #4: And how’s the public going to react to that?
Dr. Erin Mears: Hard to say. Plastic shark in a movie will keep you from getting in the ocean, but a warning on the side of a pack of cigarettes won’t stop you from buying…
Minnesota Health #4: We’re going to need to walk the government through this before we start to freak everybody out. I mean, we can’t even tell people right now what they should be afraid of. We tried that with Swine Flu and all we did was get healthy people scared. It’s the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
Minnesota Health #3: I think we need to consider closing schools down.
Minnesota Health #4: And who stays home with the kids? People that work on stores, government workers, people that work in hospitals. When will we know what this is? What causes it? What cures it? Things to keep people calm.
Dr. Erin Mears: What we need to determine is this, for every person who gets sick, how many other people are they likely to to infect? So, for seasonal flu that’s usually about one. Smallpox on the other hand, it’s over three. Now, before we had vaccine, Polio spread at a rate between four and six. Now, we call that number the R naught. R stands for the reproductive rate of the v**us.
Minnesota Health #3: Any ideas what that might be for this?
Dr. Erin Mears: How fast it multiplies depends on the variety of factors, the incubation period, how long a person is contagious. Sometimes people can be contagious without even having symptoms, you need to know that too. And we need to know how big the population of people susceptible to the v**us might be.
Minnesota Health #4: So far that appears to be everyone with hands, a mouth, and a nose.
Dr. Erin Mears: Once we know the R naught, we’ll be able to handle on the scale of the e****mic.
Minnesota Health #4: So, it’s an e****mic now. An e****mic of what?
Dave: We sent samples to the CDC.
Dr. Erin Mears: In seventy two hours, we’ll know what it is, if we’re lucky.
Minnesota Health #4: Clearly, we’re not lucky.
[looking at the samples of the v**us taken from Beth’s body]
Dr. Ally Hextall: I can see some structures on the surface that look like glycoproteins, but there’s nothing morphologically pathognomonic.
Dr. David Eisenberg: We tested all of her anti-bodies, I didn’t see much pressure activity. Her body had no idea what to do with it. It just kept amplifying.
Dr. Ally Hextall: Send it to Sussman in San Fransisco. If he doesn’t know what it is, nobody does.
Alan Krumwiede: It’s Godzilla, King Kong and Frankenstein all in one.
[as Sussman is leaving the bio medical facility he is accosted by Allen]
Alan Krumwiede: You’ve got it in there, haven’t you?
Dr. Ian Sussman: Not really. Look, get away from here
Alan Krumwiede: Where did it come from? Is it a genetically modified organism?
Dr. Ian Sussman: You’re not a doctor, and you’re not a writer!
Alan Krumwiede: Yes, I am a writer. Yes, I am!
Dr. Ian Sussman: Blogging is not writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.
Alan Krumwiede: I am a journalist! And there’s an informed discussion on the blogosphere, that this is a biological weapon.
Dr. Ian Sussman: If you want to talk to me, call my office and make an appointment.
[Day 7 – Homeland Security meet with Cheever]
Dennis French: If you were going to plan it, can’t think of a better time than Thanks Giving.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Then what?
Dennis French: An attack? Is there anyway someone could weaponize the Bird Flu? Is that what we’re looking at?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Someone doesn’t have to weaponize the Bird-Flu. The birds are doing that.
[Erin interviews the workers at AIMMO that had interactions with Beth before she died]
Dr. Erin Mears: Is there anyone else who might have had contact with her?
AIMM Employee #4: This was everyone.
AIMM Employee #2: Aaron Barnes did.
AIMM Employee #4: Barnes worked on another floor.
AIMM Employee #2: There were documents she needed to sign. He picked her up from the airport.
Dr. Erin Mears: He picked her up from the airport?
AIMM Employee #2: Yes.
Dr. Erin Mears: Where is he?
[Erin is on the phone to Aaron Barnes, who had interactions with Beth before she died]
Dr. Erin Mears: I believe you may have contact with Beth Emhoff last week?
Aaron Barnes: Yeah, I picked her up from the airport. What’s this about?
[he starts to cough]
Dr. Erin Mears: How are you feeling today?
Aaron Barnes: Pretty cruddy to be honest. My head is pounding. I probably got some sort of bug.
Dr. Erin Mears: Where are you right now?
Aaron Barnes: On the bus, heading to work.
[Erin gets into a car]
Dr. Erin Mears: I’d like you to get off immediately.
Aaron Barnes: Wait, what? What’s going on?
Dr. Erin Mears: I really need you to get off that bus. Listen, it’s quite possible you’ve come in contact with an infectious disease and that you’re highly contagious. Do you understand? I want you to get off now.
Aaron Barnes: Okay. I’m getting off.
Dr. Erin Mears: Stay away from other people.
Aaron Barnes: What do I do now?
Dr. Erin Mears: Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t touch anyone. That’s the most important thing. We’ll send somebody to meet the bus.
Aaron Barnes: Okay.
Dr. Erin Mears: I’m on way to you now, Aaron.
[as Aaron gets off the bus he touches the rail on the bus and starts coughing]
[Erin is interviewing Mitch about Beth]
Dr. Erin Mears: Any idea what she did in Chicago during that layover? Did she have meetings? Is there any reason she might have left the airport?
Mitch Emhoff: Why? I mean is is there someone that’s sick in Chicago?
[Erin doesn’t reply]
Mitch Emhoff: Before we were married, my wife had a relationship with a man in Chicago named John Neal.
[Erin again doesn’t reply but just looks at Mitch]
Mitch Emhoff: Is John Neal sick? Did we get this from him?
Dr. Erin Mears: We’re investigating all the possibilities.
Mitch Emhoff: No. No. I think I have a right to know! Look at where I am here?
Dr. Erin Mears: We…
Mitch Emhoff: Look at where I am here?
Dr. Erin Mears: I can’t!
Mitch Emhoff: No! I’m just…
Dr. Erin Mears: I can’t disclose that information.
Mitch Emhoff: I’m just trying to understand.
Dr. Erin Mears: I’m sorry. I know.
[looking at the sample taken from Beth’s body]
Dr. Ally Hextall: Somewhere in the world the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You ever seen anything like this before?
Dr. Ally Hextall: No. And it’s still changing. It’s figuring us out faster than we’re figuring it out.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: It doesn’t have anything else to do. So we have novel v**us with a mortality rate in the low twenties. No treatment protocol and no vaccine at this time.
Dr. Ally Hextall: That is correct.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: From here on out I want no one working on this except the BSL-Four. The last thing we need is for this thing to walk out of a lab on the bottom of someone’s shoe.
[Day 8 – at a press conference]
Reporter: Dr. Cheever, are you concerned that the CDC faces a credibility issue here, after the perceived overreaction to H1N1?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I’d rather the new story be that we overreacted than many people lost their lives because we didn’t do enough. That’s why we’re here today. It’s also why the World Health Organization is sending an epidemiologist to Hong Kong. It’s hard to know what it is without knowing where it came from. So our first job with these things is always to find ground zero. To figure out how it jumped into the population to begin with. We do know that a patient in Minnesota traveled to that part of the world.
Damian Leopold: Dr. Cheever, perhaps you can update us on the research.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: As of right now, no one has found a good way to grow the v**us cells.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: Why is that?
Dr. Ally Hextall: Because it kills every cell we put it in. A pig, a chicken, everything. Until we can grow it, and a great deal of it, we can’t experiment with it. And until then, we can’t vaccinate against it.
Chinese Health Official #1: Have you found any treatment at all? Any anti-v**us? Anything?
Dr. Ally Hextall: No.
TV Reporter: The Center for Disease and Control in the Unites States and the World Health Organization in Switzerland, confirmed today that Dr. Ian Sussman of San Fransisco has succeeded in growing the MEV-1 v**us in a laboratory setting. Officials at the CDC cautioned that the breakthrough is only the first step toward developing a vaccine, which is likely still months away from human trials. The WHO estimates the number of people infected world wide to be over eight million.
Alan Krumwiede: They’ll be growing the v**us in every lab on Earth. It’s a bad day to be a rhesus monkey. Crikey, first we shoot them into space, now we’ll be shooting them full of v**us.
Hedge Fund Man in Park: This is where we need your expertise. The pharmaceutical stocks is already through the roof. What’s next? Where is the opportunity? Now, you saw that Shinko bus thing, day one. That’s why we wanted this meeting.
Alan Krumwiede: When I turned on my computer this morning, I had over two million unique visitors all looking for the truth. You think they want to see me talking to some Hedge Fund guy?
Hedge Fund Man in Park: Mr. Krumwiede, we don’t invent need here. We just analyze it, predict it. You tell me what it cost to look into your crystal ball?
Mitch Emhoff: If I’m immune, can’t you use my blood to cure this?
Dr. Erin Mears: Blood serums can take a long time to make and are very expensive. But the good news here is that you’re not going to get sick.
Mitch Emhoff: Okay. then that would mean that that my daughter can’t get it either, right?
Dr. Erin Mears: I can’t promise you that.
Mitch Emhoff: But isn’t that something that she would inherit from me?
Dr. Erin Mears: Well, half her immune system came from you, but the other half came from her mother.
Dave: My wife makes me take off my clothes in the garage. Then she leaves out a bucket of warm water and some soap. And then she douses everything in hand sanitizer after I leave. I mean, she’s overreacting, right?
Dr. Erin Mears: Not really. And stop touching your face, Dave.
[talking on the phone]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: WHO has confirmed that the Hong Kong sample matches London, Tokyo and Abu Dabi. And we’re seeing large clusters in from Frankfurt and Cairo.
Dr. Erin Mears: Are we any closer to an index patient?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Could be your Beth Emhoff, or the guy on the bus in Japan, someone else who crawled off the grid. How are you doing?
Dr. Erin Mears: Yeah, good. I’m going into a meeting with…
Dr. Ellis Cheever: No, Mears. I didn’t ask you what you were doing. I asked you how you were doing. How are you doing?
Dr. Erin Mears: I’m I’m fine.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Fine? You know I was in the field for about fifteen years, I’ve seen a lot of sh*t. If you’re not doing fine, you can tell me.
Dr. Erin Mears: Have you ever told a man, who just lost his wife and step-son, that his wife was cheating on him before she died?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: No, I haven’t. I’m sure you did the best you could.
Dr. Erin Mears: Uh-huh.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You sound tired. You got to try to remember to sleep once in a while. When was the last time you had something to eat that didn’t come out of a vending machine?
Dr. Erin Mears: Taco Bell.
[looking at security footage of Beth at the casino blowing on another players chip for luck]
Dr. Leonora Orantes: I would like to suggest that the v**us started before Macao, and maybe here in Hong Kong.
[the Chinese officials discuss her comments between themselves]
Chinese Health Official #1: You’re considering pronouncement with serious implications. A v**us is too small to be seen on video camera.
[Day 14 – over the phone]
Dr. Erin Mears: Dr. Cheever, I think I’m sick.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: What? What’s going on? What kind of symptoms do you have?
Dr. Erin Mears: I can’t swallow, severe headache.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: What’s you temperature?
Dr. Erin Mears: One-o-one point eight.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Listen, you can’t, you just, you can’t panic. Okay?
Dr. Erin Mears: Not right now, I know.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Are you alone?
Dr. Erin Mears: I’ve definitely infected other people.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You don’t know that.
Dr. Erin Mears: What should I do?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well, I want you to stay in your room and I’ll call the people at the Health Department. I’ll tell them that you’re there. Erin, just, you’re going to be okay.
Dr. Erin Mears: No, I know. I know.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Okay.
Dr. Erin Mears: You got to send somebody else.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Yes, but you don’t worry about that right now, okay?
Dr. Erin Mears: Hey, I’m…
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You take care of yourself.
Dr. Erin Mears: I’m sorry I couldn’t finish.
[after the funeral home has refused to accept Beth and her son’s bodies for burial]
Beth’s Mother: How can they do that? We have a family plot here.
Mitch Emhoff: They want us to think about cremation. They say that it’s the safest thing in a situation like this.
Beth’s Mother: I want to be buried with my daughter and grandson, with Jack and my parents. I want us all together.
Mitch Emhoff: They’re not going to take them, Sarah. They’re not going to take the bodies. I’ll figure something out. I’ll figure something out.
Beth’s Mother: She made mistakes, Mitch. But I know she loved you, very much.
[looking at security footage of Beth at the casino]
Dr. Leonora Orantes: Emhoff is the index patient. We need to know everywhere she went before the casino. I want to see her itinerary again.
Sun Feng: They say the French and Americans have the cure. They’re manufacturing it in secret. WHO knows, they’re in bed with the Americans.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: Who says?
Sun Feng: The internet.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: The internet? You believe it?
Sun Feng: I don’t know.
[after kidnapping Orantes, Feng shows her the remaining people left from his village]
Sun Feng: We’re here, at the end of the line. This is what is left of my village.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: Are they sick?
Sun Feng: Not yet. And we’re going to keep it that way. You’ll stay here with us, until they find a cure.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: How is that going to help?
Sun Feng: You’re going to get us in front of the line.
Lyle Haggerty: You’re asking me to spend a lot of resources on one person. Right now I can’t do that. Dr. Mears would agree with me.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: She’s one of our own, Lyle. We sent her up there! Okay, I sent her up there. I would like to go get her back. That’s why we have a plane with an isolation pod, to bring our people in the field home when they’re sick, right?
[Lyle doesn’t respond]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: What’s going on, Lyle?
Lyle Haggerty: There’s a sick Congressman from Illinois in D.C., he was in Chicago over the holiday. They’re using the pod to fly him home, then they’re closing down mid-way in a O’Hare. The governor there is calling out the National Guard, they’re setting up road blocks. They’re shutting down the Board of Trade, Public Transportation, even the teamsters are pulling their drivers off the road.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: People are still going to slip through, you know this.
Lyle Haggerty: Yes, they will. The Secret Service is moving the President underground. Congress is figuring out how to work online. When the word goes out, there will be a run on the banks, gas stations, grocery stores, you name it.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: People will panic. The v**us will be the least of our worries, it will tip over now!
Lyle Haggerty: We just need to make sure that nobody knows, until everybody knows.
[Alan is blogging and apparently sick]
Alan Krumwiede: My temperature is a hundred and one, higher than it was earlier. My head hurts. My throat feels like it’s closing.
[opens a bottle of the medicine]
Alan Krumwiede: This is Forsythia. I’ve been taking it since the onset of the symptoms.
[he drops some of the medicine into a glass of water and drinks it]
Alan Krumwiede: If I’m here tomorrow, you’ll know it works. Truth Serum Now, I’m Alan Krumwiede.
[talking to his wife on the phone]
Aubrey Cheever: How many people are going to die?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well, in 1918 one percent of the population died from Spanish Flu. It was novel, like this. No one had ever seen it before.
Aubrey Cheever: One percent of America?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: One percent of the world. As many as seventy million people could die, baby, maybe more.
Aubrey Cheever: So what do we do?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I don’t know. We’re trying to figure it out, this is why I sent Mears up there, to Minnesota. And now I can’t get her back. She’s sick, Aubrey, and I can’t do anything for her because there are no nurses now.
Aubrey Cheever: Why not?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Because they’re on strike.
Aubrey Cheever: How can they do that?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Because there’s nothing they can do. I mean, we’re just putting healthy people next to sick people and hoping that the healthy people don’t get sick. It’s ridiculous!
Aubrey Cheever: I’m sorry, Ellis, but that’s not your fault.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I sent her up there, Aubrey.
Aubrey Cheever: If one in four die, that means three out of four living, right? So the odds are in her favor.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I want you to get in your car, and I want you to drive down here to Atlanta, right now. You hear me, Aubrey?
Aubrey Cheever: What are you talking about?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I want you to get in your car and leave Chicago. I want you to drive here to Atlanta. Drive by yourself. You do it. You do it now. Don’t tell anyone, and don’t stop. And stay away from other people. You understand? Keep your distance from other people. Now, call me when you’re on the road, Aubrey.
[Day 18 – Alan in a bio-suit comes across a very sick looking Lorraine sitting outside his apartment]
Alan Krumwiede: What are you doing here?
Lorraine Vasquez: I think I had a seizure. I can’t find any in the stores, I tried it.
[referring to the Forsythia]
Alan Krumwiede: Look, I don’t have any here. People broke in.
Lorraine Vasquez: I’m pregnant Alan. I have money. I can give you some money.
Alan Krumwiede: Lorraine, you shouldn’t be out. Go Home. I’ll bring it to you when I get it.
[Cheever is being interviewed on TV]
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: There are stories around the internet, that in India, and elsewhere, the drug Ribavirin, has been shown to be effective against this v**us. Yet Homeland Security is telling the CDC not to make any announcements until stock piles of the drug could be secured.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well, Dr. Gupta, there continue to be evaluations of several drugs, Ribavirin is among them. But right now, our best defense has been social distancing. No hand shaking, staying home when you’re sick, washing your hands frequently.
[Alan joins the interview with Gupta and Cheever via satellite]
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Alan today on Twitter, you wrote on that the truth about this v**us is being kept from the world, by the CDC, by the World Health Organization, to allow friends of the current administration to benefit from it both financially and physically.
Alan Krumwiede: There are therapies we know are effective, right now, like Forsythia, and they don’t even appear on the CDC website.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: On your blog you also wrote that the World Health Organization has somehow in bed with pharmaceutical companies.
Alan Krumwiede: Because they are. That’s who stands to gain from this. They’re working hand in glove. And the hand is reaching into our pockets.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: The CDC is exploring Forsythia and other homeopathic treatments. But right now, there’s no science to back any of these claims.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: There are people who are sick, people who are dying and we are doing everything for them. We’re worried about the health of every American citizen.
Alan Krumwiede: They’re not keeping us safe from this, any more than they kept us safe from Wall Street, or Katrina.
Alan Krumwiede: Dr. Cheever is being a bit disingenuous, when he says, every American citizen.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: We’re working very hard to find out where this v**us came from. To treat it and to vaccinate against it if we can. We don’t know all of that yet, we just don’t know. What we do know, is that in order to become sick, you have to first come in contact with a sick person, or something that they touched. In order to get scared, all you have to do is to come in contact with a rumor, or the television, or the internet. I think what Mr. Krumwiede is spreading, is far more dangerous than the disease.
Alan Krumwiede: Well, I think you’re funny. Because if you check on Facebook, you’ll find a communicator attributed to Dr. Cheever by Elizabeth Nygaard, about the quarantine of Chicago hours before it was announced to the public. That’s why I think he’s a bit disingenuous, when he says equal care for all and not just his friends.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: That’s some pretty wild allegations here, Dr. Cheever. I mean, can you tell us what communication appeared and when? What exactly is the nature of your relationship with Elizabeth Nygaard?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well again, I’m not aware of anything attributed to me on any social network.
Alan Krumwiede: I’m sure you’re not. It is there! It is there!
[to Cheever through the video satellite]
Alan Krumwiede: Tell them what an R naught of two really means, doctor. Teach them some math, hm?
[Cheever makes no response]
Alan Krumwiede: No? I’ll do it. On day one, there were two people with it, and then there were four, and then it was sixteen, and you think you’ve got it in front of you. But next it’s two hundred and fifty six, and then it’s sixty five thousand, and it’s behind you and above you and all around you. In thirty steps, it’s a billion sick. Three months. It’s a math problem you can do on napkin. And that’s where we’re headed! And that’s why you won’t even tell us the number of the d**d, will you, Dr. Cheever? But you tell your friends when to get out of Chicago before anyone else has a chance.
[Cheever’s doesn’t respond]
[to Cheever after his disastrous television interview]
Lyle Haggerty: They’re looking for a scapegoat. You just made it easy.
Dennis French: The only reason we’re not taking this to the Attorney General, is because we can’t replace you right now. But there’s going to be an investigation, you understand that?
[Cheever nods his head in understanding]
Dennis French: We don’t want to see you in front of the camera’s anymore.
[Day 21 – the MEV-1 has mutated in Africa]
Dr. Ally Hextall: It’s mutated.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Which way? Better or worse?
Dr. Ally Hextall: It’s moved into an African HIV aids population. The durban cluster is highly divergent. We’ve a new R naught, Ellis. It’s not two anymore.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I thought you said that once we’d grow it we could vaccinate against it.
Dr. Ally Hextall: We tried using d**d v**us combined with several adjuvants to boost immune response.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: And?
Dr. Ally Hextall: No protective anti-bodies, a lot of d**d monkeys.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Can you get to the part where there’s good news?
Dr. Ally Hextall: Now we have to try a live attenuated v**us.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Like for Polio?
Dr. Ally Hextall: Exactly. The only danger with a live v**us is the possibility that it will revert to wild type and kill the host.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: When will we know about that?
Dr. Ally Hextall: I’ll ask the monkeys.
[at the World Health Organization conference]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: As of right now, the mortality rate is fluctuating between forty-five to thirty percent, depending upon underlying medical conditions. Socioeconomic factors, nutrition, fresh water. With the new mutation, we are predicting an R naught of no less than four, and without a vaccine we can anticipate that approximately one in twelve people on the planet will contract the disease.
[Day 29 – Cheever calls Hextall about an update on the vaccine]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Are we even close?
Dr. Ally Hextall: If we even had a viable vaccine right now, we would still have to do human trials and that would take weeks. And then we would have to get clearance and approval, figure out manufacturing and distribution. That would take months. And then train survivors to give inoculations, more months, more deaths.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well, Homeland Security wants to know if we can put a vaccination in the water supply, like Fluoride, cure everyone at once.
Dr. Ally Hextall: I’m going home now, Ellis. It’s getting late. Merry Christmas.
[after Hextall has injected herself with the vaccine, she visits her infected father in hospital and takes off her mask]
Hextall’s Father: What are you doing?
Dr. Ally Hextall: It’s okay, dad.
Hextall’s Father: No, it’s not okay.
Dr. Ally Hextall: Do you remember Dr. Barry Marshall? He thought that bacteria caused ulcers not stress. Gave himself the bug and then cured himself. You taught me about him. I’m testing my vaccine.
Hextall’s Father: This is different. I don’t want to get you sick. Ally, you can’t take a chance.
Dr. Ally Hextall: Oh, dad! You’re here because you stayed in your practice, treating sick people after everyone else went home. You took that chance, you took that chance everyday.
[he starts crying]
Dr. Ally Hextall: What?
Hextall’s Father: You win a Nobel Prize.
[he starts laughing with joy]
Dr. Ally Hextall: Yes, I know, dad.
TV Reporter: The WHO estimates that it could take nearly a year to manufacture and distribute the necessary amount of the vaccine to stop the spread of the v**us, which so far has taken over twenty six million lives world wide. But as labs work around the clock to produce the life saving formula, the question remains, who gets it first?
[Day 131 – the MEV-1 vaccine is due to be released to the public the next day]
Alan Krumwiede: After the Spanish Flu, 1918, you know? People got rich. The Vicks Vapor Rub people, the Lysol people, look it up. One man dies, another man makes money off his coffin. One country coals all their chickens, red meat goes into high demand. I’m not the first person to make money off the fact that our immune system is a working progress. The pharmaceutical industry do it every quarter.
Hedge Fund Man in Park: I don’t think anyone is immune to opportunity, Alan. It’s just that the studies show that there is no proof that Forsythia works.
Alan Krumwiede: Okay, who conducted the studies? What defines works against what strain of the v**us?
Hedge Fund Man in Park: Did you know about the studies when we met the last time? We can get into a lot of trouble.
Alan Krumwiede: You really think this Dr. Hextall, CDC person, is Jesus in a lab coat? The government rushed the trials, the lawyers indemnified the drug companies. Maybe it causes autism or narcolepsy or cancer ten years from now! Who knows? The Swine Flu vaccine killed people back in 1976. Nerve disease! So we’re all guinea pigs, starting from today. Just wait, they’ll start listing side effects, like the credits at the end of a movie.
Hedge Fund Man in Park: People trust you, Alan. If you tell them not to take it…
Alan Krumwiede: That’s right! They trust me. All twelve million unique visitors. I’m a trusted man stepping up to a microphone in front of a very large crowd. That’s who I am. That’s the brand. I say the right thing, nobody shows up for their shot. Maybe they’d rather roll the dice with Forsythia. I can make that happen. I just want to know I’m in the best possible position when I do.
Hedge Fund Man in Park: What does that mean exactly?
Alan Krumwiede: If I’m going to step into the crosshairs, I want to know what’s in…
[Alan suddenly notices a man collecting garbage is looking at them]
Alan Krumwiede: Is he with you?
Hedge Fund Man in Park: What? Who?
Alan Krumwiede: Are you wearing a wire?
[Alan sees that he is and gets up and starts to run]
Hedge Fund Man in Park: Alan, I didn’t have a choice! They’ve seen your blog!
[Alan gets arrested in the park securities fraud, conspiracy and manslaughter]
[Day 133 – Haggerty goes on television doing a vaccine lottery on birthdays to see who gets it first]
Lyle Haggerty: We may never know where this disease came from, but we do know that this vaccine is a result of the courage and perseverance of a remarkable few. We shall now begin the drawing.
[during the vaccine lottery announcement Cheever finds Hextall]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Take a bow, Ally. People have for a lot less.
Dr. Ally Hextall: It’s not that hard to give yourself an injection. What about Mears, or my father? Or you? I’m going to take a bow while you get hauled in front of congress? What do I say when they ask about that?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You tell them that I told a loved who told a loved, and that I’d do it again. Without you, Ally! You have saved millions of lives. That’s a great story, it also happens to be true. Now, how often can you say that?
Jory Emhoff: Why can’t they invent a shot that keeps time from passing?
[after Orantes has been released by Sun Feng, believing that he’s received the vaccine for his village]
Damian Leopold: Oh, I almost forgot.
[he takes out a package and gives it to her]
Dr. Leonora Orantes: What’s that?
Damian Leopold: Your vaccine. The one you took was a placebo.
Dr. Leonora Orantes: What?
Damian Leopold: The Chinese insisted. There’s been many abductions, not just here. Russia, Mexico, all over. Government Officials, Scientists or Westerners with great wealth. Mostly perpetrated by organized crime or revolutionary groups trying to steal medicines. The Chinese don’t negotiate with kidnappers, it wasn’t up to us. They’ve got a limited supply, just like everyone else.
[Orantes disgusted at hearing this gets up an walks away]
Damian Leopold: Leonora! Where are you going?
Dennis French: Your results came back, Mr. Krumwiede. You never had the v**us. You have no anti-bodies. You lied.
Alan Krumwiede: Of course, that’s what your labs say.
Dennis French: Forsythia is a lie. It’s a lie and you made four and a half million dollars for telling it. You want to blog about that? You are going to go away, Mr. Krumwiede, and so is all your money. Hell, I can’t even imagine all the civil suits people are going to file against you, and I have a pretty good imagination. And now you want to tell people not to get vaccinated, when that’s the best chance they’ve got. If I could throw your computer in jail, I would.
Alan Krumwiede: Are we done here?
Dennis French: Evidently, there are twelve million other people as crazy as you are. You made bail, congratulations.
[after giving his own vaccine to Roger’s son, Anthony, and they shake hands]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You know where this comes from, shaking hands?
Dr. Ellis Cheever: Well, it was a way of showing a stranger that you weren’t carrying a weapon in the old days.
[referring to the history of shaking hands]
Dr. Ellis Cheever: You offered your empty right hand, to show that you meant no harm.
Roger: Well, I didn’t know that.
Dr. Ellis Cheever: I wonder if the v**us does.
Roger: Dr. Cheever, thanks.
[Cheever offers his hand and Rogers shakes it]
[last lines; Day 135 – Mitch has set up a makeshift prom night for Jory and Andy, in his room he finds his camera, turns it on, and sees pictures of Beth she took in Hong Kong]
Jory Emhoff: Dad? Are you coming?
[Mitch is crying looking at Beth’s pictures]
Mitch Emhoff: Yep. Just looking for the camera.
[he goes downstairs and as he sees Jory and Andy dancing, he leaves them]
[Day 1 – we see final flashback of where the outbreak originated from, where cut down trees causes bats to fly out. One bat finds a pig farm and drops a piece of banana, which is eaten by a pig. The pig is then slaughtered and prepared by a chef in a Macau casino, who transmits the v**us to Beth by their hands touching]
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