A Noted “Virus Hunter” Gets the Virus

Dr. Ian Lipkin, an infectious disease expert from Columbia University,  did research in China as the pandemic got underway

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin on Fox Business interview.

“Virus hunter” Dr. W. Ian Lipkin on Fox Business interview. / Screenshot by Yuntong Man

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a well known “virus hunter” who has appeared on TV often during the coronavirus pandemic, said he has tested positive for the virus. He made the announcement during an interview with Fox Business News on March 24.

Dr. Lipkin is a leading expert in epidemiology and serves as the Director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, an academic laboratory for microbe hunting in acute and chronic diseases. He also advised the U.S. Department of Defense on SARS Quarantine Guidance during the height of the SARS outbreak, between 2003–04.

In late January, Dr. Lipkin spent a week in China to research the virus, during China’s peak outbreak. He said he was fine during his 14-days quarantine after his return to New York on Feb 4th. Since then, he’s been a regular guest, through conference calls, for CNN, NBC, Fox, and other media outlets regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the interview with Fox Business, Dr. Lipkin explained that researchers at Columbia University are trying to use blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients to treat current patients. He’s taking one of the experimental treatments himself. 

“If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” said Dr. Lipkin told the interviewer.  “This virus is all over the United States.”


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