REBEL BLOOD is a documentary series about the race to cure COVID-19; it is told from in the trenches alongside world-renowned physician and scientist Dr. Michel Nussenzweig and his colleagues Dr. Marina Caskey and Dr. Davide Robbiani at Rockefeller University as they race to complete their mission before the deadly virus wreaks havoc on the least prepared parts of the world—and before it comes back to attack us again.
We enter the story with Eli Epstein, who contracted COVID-19, and experienced mild symptoms. Now, Eli’s blood and that of other volunteers who also had similar responses to the virus as Eli, will be used by Dr. Caskey, who is leading the project, and her team, to try to develop a therapy based on this “resistance” to COVID-19. They do this by pulling the B cells from the blood, to grow potent antibodies to the virus.
What makes Rockefeller University’s approach so powerful is that they are aiming to achieve both therapy and a kind of vaccine—so that people who have COVID- 19 can be treated, and those who don’t have it can be made immune.
REBEL BLOOD follows the dramatic story of this brilliant team of physicians and scientists who are working to develop a cure before the next round of COVID-19 strikes the Northern Hemisphere in the winter of 2020-21. For, as immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently said, “We’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle around the second time.”
REBEL BLOOD reveals this race against nature’s clock, and also against the human clock that demands immediate response to the virus-- for reasons of politics and economics that run counter to the science needed to create a safe and successful vaccine. Along with our compelling human desire to defeat death when we meet it face to face, and to restore some sense that we are masters of our fate.
REBEL BLOOD-- through the dedicated scientists trying to create that response, and those expedient politicians and business leaders on the other side of it applying pressure to go faster and cheaper --travels deep inside the front line of this urgent quest to find a way to protect humanity before the worst pandemic of our time returns.
REBEL BLOOD keeps its lens on the human story as well, for as we speak, we are in contact with people in Italy, New Orleans, and Wuhan who are helping us document the calamity that this invisible enemy has caused. We are recording remote interviews with people from all parts of the world that were hit hardest by the disease and they are sending us glimpses and videos of what happens when medicine does not win the race against COVID-19, and they are revealing their fears and hopes while waiting for the therapy that will save them. REBEL BLOOD is also a tale for that future, and how the world must be ready for the next time nature strikes with a virus we have never seen. It is a story that will speak to the world, for the entire planet is desperate for the success of its outcome— and we will be there to reveal the cure when it comes.