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'Contagion' Writer Reveals What Trump Did That Terrified Him

Scott Z. Burns, the writer of the 2011 movie Contagion, is speaking out about the Coronavirus and the thing that Donald Trump did that terrified him.

Contagion, which starred Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Laurence Fishburne, was about a worldwide epidemic and followed healthcare professionals and government officials as the CDC worked to find a cure.

Scott told Variety in a new interview that he was “terrified” when he read that Trump had recently cut the budget of the CDC (the Center for Disease Control).

“Every scientist who I spoke to when I worked on the movie said that exact same thing to me: It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’ You can decide that most of the time, firemen are just sitting around. But it’s very hard to start a fire department once your house is on fire,” Scott said. “And so the notion that we’re going to cut these things and we’ll just try to rebuild them when we need them is foolish and dangerous. I was very aware that our Department of Homeland Security had a pandemic team standing by because this is a real threat. The fact that this administration decided to do away with that puts all of us at risk.”

Scott also revealed what he is doing to stay safe from Coronavirus.

“I am doing what public officials say. I’m washing my hands very often. I am avoiding large gatherings. And I think that’s all we can do now until we get a handle on this,” he said. “Unfortunately, because our response was delayed, we’re way behind the curve. And to compound that, you have officials of the government saying this isn’t a problem or this isn’t a bad thing. I think to me, the scary part is, even though you may say that the mortality rate is around 1%, if 10 million people end up getting sick, that’s a lot of people who will die. Most of them, even if they’re old, some of my favorite people are over 70 years old. And we need to take care of them.”

Gwyneth referenced the movie in a recent Instagram post about the virus.