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4.6

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds ANTONIA HARDY: Look, I did it for Mendona. I did it for my country.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: A few thousand people from your country are dead.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 seconds ANTONIA HARDY: People die all the time. I created the vaccine.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: You created the disease.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds ANTONIA HARDY: I saved millions. I will be remembered. [KNOCKING AT DOOR]

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds JIM BROWN: Alex, can I see you for a second?

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds You have to let her go.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: What? She’s admitted to everything. She wanted to be famous. Narcissistic, opport– she’s a psychopath.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds JIM BROWN: Yeah, I’m not saying anything different. But there’s not going to be a trial.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: No, I don’t–I don’t–

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds JIM BROWN: You have to let her go. I’m sorry, Alex. If it makes you feel any better, she’ll be monitored for the rest of her life. She won’t be able to so much as even look at another test tube.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 seconds You did a good job.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds REPORTER: (ON TV) Dr. Hardy has said the recent outbreak has made her realise how important family is, and how easily the things we love can be taken away. Hardy’s team discovered the vaccine late last night. I shudder to think what could have been if they hadn’t. Channel 22 News would like to wish Dr Hardy all the best.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds MARA TSONI: You know you can switch it off with the remote.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: Mara.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 seconds MARA TSONI: Hey.

Skip to 1 minute and 49 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: How are you?

Skip to 1 minute and 50 seconds MARA TSONI: Better.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: Did you hear what happened?

Skip to 1 minute and 53 seconds MARA TSONI: Yeah.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: Yeah, Hardy’s been lauded as a hero. It’s exactly what she wanted.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 seconds MARA TSONI: Well, the government was too invested in her work. They had to lie.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: Yeah. If the government told the truth, how could anybody trust them?

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 seconds MARA TSONI: Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and say good work. It’s a shame it took an emergency to get us working together.

Skip to 2 minutes and 9 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: Off the record.

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 seconds MARA TSONI: It’s always off the record. I’ve got to go.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: How’s everything going– at the department?

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 seconds MARA TSONI: Administering the vaccine, counting the dead. I’m still technically on sick leave.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 seconds ALEX PAPOULIAS: We should grab a coffee, catch up.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 seconds MARA TSONI: Hmm, we’ll see.

Pandemic chapter 5

In this video, respected Professor Antonia Hardy, who was one of the few people who could develop a vaccine against the new virus, is interviewed by the policeman Alex Papoulia. Professor Hardy admits that she engineered the virus in a clandestine laboratory so that she could become famous for developing a vaccine against it through her formal university research activity. It becomes clear that she did it to achieve fame and respect for developing the vaccine, but was comfortable with killing thousands of people in the process.

A twist is that Hardy is released from police custody, suggesting that she has friends in high places, although she is made to retire from her job. This frustrates Alex but there’s nothing he can do about it. At least he solved the mystery of where the disease came from and can get some satisfaction from that. The health department official, Sharri Patel, points out that one benefit of the pandemic emergency was that it led to cooperation and consultation between the health department and the police, which usually does not happen.

An issue highlighted in this video are the human motivations that can lead to criminal behaviour, even by respected persons. Another is that it often takes an emergency to have multi-agency cooperation. Prevention of, and preparedness for, these emergencies require ongoing cooperation and consultation at all times, not just in a crisis.

After watching this chapter of Pandemic, please discuss the following questions in the comments section below

  • What other factors might motivate people to engineer pathogens that could cause dangerous outbreaks?
  • Which organisations would be stakeholders in the management of a bioterrorism event?
  • Do you think the health care system in your country would be prepared for a bioterrorism attack?

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This video is from the free online course:

Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Public Health Dimensions

UNSW Sydney