The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Dr. Joseph B. McCormick Character Analysis

Chief of the Special Pathogens Branch of the CDC, McCormick has a great deal of personal enmity towards C. J. Peters, and believes that the CDC, not USAMRIID (a branch of the army), should take control of the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit after Ebola is discovered there. When Ebola ravaged Sudan in 1979, McCormick was on the scene and worked tirelessly both to research the disease and aid his dying patients. After sticking himself with a contaminated needle, he believed that he, too, would soon die of Ebola, and decided to spend his last days helping the sick. He did not fall ill, however, because the needle was actually contaminated with malaria, not Ebola. As a result, he does not believe that Ebola can be easily transmitted.
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Dr. Joseph B. McCormick Character Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Joseph B. McCormick appears in The Hot Zone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 11: Shoot-Out
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...Murphy, and the chief of the Special Pathogens Branch of the C.D.C., Dr. Joseph B. McCormick. Brilliant, charming, and hot-tempered, Joe McCormick has actually treated human cases of Ebola. He also... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Preston recounts the history of conflict between the Army and Joe McCormick, who had in the past criticized Gene Johnson for spending money studying Kitum Cave without... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Years later McCormick would describe the sight of a hut filled with Ebola victims, reeking with blood, and... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
His experience in Sudan led Joe McCormick to believe that Ebola did not spread easily, and he questions whether it is as... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13: Reconaissance
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...some lab employees who have been working with the tissues of the sick monkeys. Joe McCormick arrives as well. The mostly female employees are terrified of their potential exposure, especially because... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...to the monkey house to look at the animals. He does not, however, invite Joe McCormick. The group puts on gloves and surgical masks and enters Room H. Nancy and Peters... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2: A Man Down
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
...Fairfax Hospital rather than the Slammer. Getting off the phone with Dalgard, Peters calls Joe McCormick to try to persuade him to turn Frantig over to the Institute. McCormick, however, refuses,... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 2: Camp
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...but also knows that there is an incubation period of eighteen days. He recalls Joe McCormick, who was almost exposed to Ebola and lived to tell the tale. (full context)