The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone

Although a civilian, Gene Johnson runs the Ebola research division of USAMRIID. He has traveled the world studying rare and deadly viruses, and has a reputation for being brilliant but unconventional. His immense knowledge of diseases such as Ebola has instilled within him a deep fear of them. Despite the fact that he has terrifying nightmares about Ebola, one of Johnson’s most powerful wishes is to find the ultimate source of the disease. In an effort to do so, he headed an expedition to Kitum Cave, but was unable to find the virus’s host organism.

Eugene (Gene) Johnson Quotes in The Hot Zone

The The Hot Zone quotes below are all either spoken by Eugene (Gene) Johnson or refer to Eugene (Gene) Johnson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of The Hot Zone published in 1999.
Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

Gene felt a prickling sensation on his scalp. The paths of Charles Monet and Peter Cardinal had crossed at only one place on earth, and that was inside Kitum Cave. What had they done in the cave? What had they found in there? What had they touched? What had they breathed? What lived in Kitum Cave?

Related Characters: Richard Preston (speaker), Eugene (Gene) Johnson (speaker), Charles Monet, Peter Cardinal
Related Symbols: Mount Elgon and Kitum Cave
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:

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Eugene (Gene) Johnson Character Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the character Eugene (Gene) Johnson appears in The Hot Zone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 5: Project Ebola
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...negative air pressure to keep diseases from leaking into the air. A civilian scientist named Eugene Johnson , an expert on Ebola and Marburg, leads the Institute’s research of Ebola. He has... (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
...Institute fear Ebola, and many consider its study to be potentially lethal work. Eugene Johnson (Gene), appropriately, has a reputation (both within USAMRIID and without) for being wild, even fearless. He... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
...theory of microbreaks, Preston introduces the worry that Ebola will one day become an epidemic. Gene Johnson calls Ebola “unpredictable,” since we have no way of knowing whether it will one... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
We learn about Gene Johnson’s Ebola experiment, in which he attempts to cure monkeys infected with the disease. Since... (full context)
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Nancy Jaax, meanwhile, has volunteered to work on Gene Johnson’s Ebola experiment in order to prove herself capable and brave. Various sexist critics within... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Total Immersion
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Gene Johnson, we learn, has been injecting Mayinga’s blood into the monkeys, and then attempting to... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Preston relates that Gene Johnson’s Ebola experiments were unsuccessful because he was never able to find drugs that had... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: Cardinal
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
In September 1987, Gene Johnson receives a mysterious package from Kenya containing blood from a 10-year-old Danish boy named... (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
Back in USAMRIID, Gene Johnson puts Peter Cardinal’s blood into a vial full of monkey cells in order to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9: Going Deep
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Preston visits Gene Johnson near Fort Detrick. The scientist recounts his discovery that Peter Cardinal and Charles Monet... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
The year before Peter Cardinal’s death, in 1986, Gene Johnson had infected monkeys through their lungs with Marburg and Ebola, meaning that if the... (full context)
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...the expedition finds not a hint of Marburg virus within the cave—a terrible disappointment for Gene Johnson. Despite the apparent waste of the expedition, however, Preston suggests that Johnson’s knowledge and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6: The First Angel
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...to Peter Jahrling’s office with them. On the way, he passes the chaotic office of Gene Johnson, before reaching Jahrling’s sunny office filled with pictures drawn by his children. Showing Jahrling... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8: Chain of Command
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...of USAMRIID, and an expert on biohazards. Upon hearing the news, Colonel Huxsoll telephones Major General Philip K. Russell, MD, the commander of the United States Army Medical Research and Development... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...the same time, the Army does have more manpower and ability than the C.D.C. does. General Russell asserts that this operation will function best if it is staffed by soldiers, because... (full context)
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
General Russell adds that they need to contact Frederick A. Murphy, the director of the National... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9: Garbage Bags
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Later in the morning, C. J. Peters, Nancy Jaax, and Gene Johnson head out to Virginia, where they meet Dan Dalgard at the Hazleton office. He... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Nancy Jaax, Gene Johnson, and C. J. Peters drive to the gas station and wait. As they do... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Sitting next to C. J. Peters, Gene Johnson thinks about Kitum Cave. He is terrified that someone is going to die because... (full context)
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Preston explains the complicated and difficult relationship between C. J. Peters and Gene Johnson, who went on an unsuccessful expedition together in central Africa looking for Ebola virus,... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...He shows the Army team seven double bags filled with monkey corpses. Peters, Nancy, and Gene are horrified by the possibility of contamination, and Nancy refuses to put the corpses into... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: Shoot-Out
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...monkeys, C. J. Peters runs a huge meeting in the conference room of Fort Detrick. General Russell sits in to chair the meeting, hoping to keep it from turning into a... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...history of conflict between the Army and Joe McCormick, who had in the past criticized Gene Johnson for spending money studying Kitum Cave without publishing his findings. McCormick also feels that... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...both the monkey corpses and the virus. Fred Murphy urges McCormick to cool down, while General Russell steps in, suggesting that the Army and the C.D.C. split management. Eventually they come... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: The Mission
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Globalization Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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Jerry then visits Gene Johnson in order to map out a plan. They set up a series of priorities:... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13: Reconaissance
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Gene Johnson, meanwhile, heads out with Sergeant Klages to the monkey house in order to understand... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
Exploring the building, Gene realizes that he can get to Room H through a series of abandoned offices, so... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Insertion
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...Jaax gets up and puts on civilian clothes in order to head to the Institute. Gene Johnson is already there with his gear from Kitum Cave: spacesuits, rubber gloves, needles, dissection... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...unload, they hear the shouts of children at a nearby day-care center. Jerry Jaax and Gene Johnson decide to have their team put spacesuits on inside the building so that television... (full context)
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...left, Jerry counts sixty-five more monkeys in the room. He uses a special device that Gene Johnson brought back from Africa to inject them: a pole with a socket on the... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3: Tangos
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...rejects. Dalgard and Peters work together to develop a written agreement, which Peters carries to General Russell. They sign it without consulting lawyers and fax it back to Dalgard. (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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The soldiers spend an uneasy night, as does Gene Johnson, who is worried about the “kids.” He recalls when he stuck himself with a... (full context)
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
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With Nancy still asleep, Jerry Jaax leaves home at 4 AM and meets Gene Johnson, and together they go over Gene’s script. Soldiers begin to show up, and Jerry... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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Gene Johnson begins calling out soldiers’ names. Next up is eighteen-year-old Private First Class Charlotte Godwin,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Inside
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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...breaks in order to keep fatal errors from happening, but no one wants to leave. Gene Johnson stays outside the monkey house, in radio contact with those within it. Then the... (full context)
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
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A television van appears on the side of the building where Gene is stationed. Gene sends a sergeant in to inspect Rhonda and Charlotte, and the man... (full context)
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Meanwhile Charlotte and Rhonda wait in the van until Gene gives them the all-clear. They walk to the woods near the building, and find two... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5: A Bad Day
The Power of Nature Theme Icon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Innovation and Curiosity vs. Hubris Theme Icon
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...and soon it is tracking blood throughout the room. Jerry gets on the radio with Gene Johnson, who tells him to “do whatever had to be done.” They contemplate shooting the... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6: Decon
Human Error and Fragility Theme Icon
Bravery and Teamwork Theme Icon
...escapee, finally catching it behind a cage with the help of Sergeant Amen. They radio Gene to let him know, and Jerry orders Sergeant Klages to explore the rest of the... (full context)
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The 91-Tangoes leave the building exhausted and sweat-soaked. They have collected 3,500 samples. Gene Johnson, is exhausted as well, still wondering whether everyone on the operation is indeed safe... (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
...being careful. Okuku states that he’s heard of the virus, and references the work that Gene Johnson and his team did at Kitum Cave. Preston puts his respirator on his head... (full context)