When the person of the century columnist stood in front of her, Zheng Lingling still felt some disbelief.
“Jenny Garcia ……” she muttered.
A woman in professional dress who was talking to the staff turned her head with a smile, “Ms. Zheng Lingling, are you calling me?”
Jenny Garcia, the host of the BBC’s Personality of the Century program, a woman under 30 but already on the Forbes list of celebrities, twice rumored to be with a British prince, but publicly refusing to marry into the royal family, known by the British media as “not a princess but her own queen”.
Many people attributed Jenny Garcia’s success to the fact that she wasn’t a princess but a queen. Many people attributed Jenny Garcia’s success to her beauty, but Zheng Lingling could see that her appearance was definitely not the main reason for her success, and the fact that this woman could call her and Zhang Yuejun by name without waiting for her to introduce herself made her flattered but also secretly surprised. Beauty was important, but her enthusiasm and seriousness for her work was the real reason for her success.
Zheng Lingling suddenly felt that Ms. Garcia should be able to talk to Li Zheng.
“Yes, Miss Garcia, please follow me.” Zheng Lingling quickly responded and put on the characteristic smile of a famous lady in Hong Kong, leading the Century People section team towards Lab 2.
When the Century People team called to say that they were willing to come to Hong Kong for this interview, Zheng Lingling was surprised to see Li Zheng talking to the other side of the phone calmly and casually setting the interview time for the evening of the second day, she couldn’t help but re-examine the weight of the word “Li Zheng” in other people’s minds.
“Thank you.” Jenny replied politely.
The impression of the Century Man by the people of Hong Kong, including Zheng Lingling, still remained on the overwhelming coverage and appalling influence of the Governor of Hong Kong’s exclusive interview ten years ago. But in fact, with the gradual weakening of the myth of the sun and the increasing global influence of the American Eagle, the distance between the Century Man and its rival Time magazine was getting bigger and bigger.
If the former century figures were interviewers who used their popularity to expand their influence, now it was opposite. Century needed to use the influence of interviewers to try to narrow their distance from their old rivals.
Compared with the leaders of various countries and wealthy businessmen, Li Zheng may be far behind. However, these people had been targeted by Time magazine early, and no matter how well people in the century did, they would only be told that they were following the trend.
The Century People and Time Magazine, a TV show and a current affairs weekly, may seem different, but their positioning and routes were highly repetitive, and unfortunately, Century People’s influence was now far from supporting its former positioning. Re-positioning to make its own characteristics, couldn’t reduce the program force, which had become the top priority of the Century People column group.
Li Zheng was young, compassionate, and almost legendary. As soon as Garcia saw Li Zheng’s character profile, she immediately jumped up, it was him! This was the interview subject she was looking for!
Li Zheng was the one who could highlight the characteristics of the character of the century and set it on a unique new path!
According to Garcia, compared to the sense of hypocrisy on the dignitaries of various countries and the coppery smell on the rich businessmen and tycoons, this unique identity of Li Zheng as a scholar would be more appealing to the audience, and with his outstanding image and unique experience like a savior, this would definitely be able to attract the absolute majority of people’s attention.
Although Garcia was reluctant, she had to admit that the promotion of American-style heroes catered very much to the modern market.
“Hello, Mr. Li Zheng, I’m Jenny Garcia. You can call me Jenny.” Once she saw Li Zheng, Jenny enthusiastically gave a big hug, and also airkissed his cheeks.
Li Zheng was a bit at a loss, having lived two lifetimes he had never met such a warm woman, especially since he had also met Ms. Garcia thirty years later, a very attractive old lady.
He stiffened up, and his cheeks couldn’t help but flush a little.
Garcia’s smile became more sincere, she had read Li Zheng’s profile ten times. Before she met him, she had a different kind of awe for this genius who had repeatedly created miracles, yet Li Zheng’s performance had swept away the apprehension in her heart. Maybe he really was a genius, but that didn’t change the fact that he was still a seventeen year old.
Li Zheng coughed dryly to eliminate the discomfort brought about by the difference in etiquette between the East and West. If he knew what was in Garcia’s mind, his face would have blackened on the spot, how could he behave like an ordinary teenager when he was more than fifty years old with his two lifetimes combined!
“Miss Garcia, thank you very much for accommodating my time, and I apologize a million times for the trouble I caused you.” He said and pointed to the sofa in the lounge area, gesturing for the crowd to sit down.
Originally, the Century Man team had planned to arrive in Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon, but Li Zheng had asked to reschedule the show to Tuesday evening in order to finish recording the show before the Mary’s Hospital press conference. This was actually a very rude request, but Garcia didn’t even think twice about agreeing to it.
Garcia gestured to the team behind him, and the British men carrying the equipment quickly took up positions, the light was on, the camera was on, and in less than ten minutes, the rest area of Lab 2 had become a temporary interview canopy.
“This is how it starts?” Li Zheng was surprised.
“Of course, or does Mr. Li Zheng needs to put on makeup and change clothes?” Jenny Garcia smiled narrowly.
Li Zheng was dumbfounded.
“Hello, everyone, I am Jenny Garcia. I said at the end of the last show that the next show’s guest would be a big surprise. Now is the time to reveal the mystery.”
With Garcia’s words, the camera slowly turned to Li Zheng.
Li Zheng relaxed on the sofa, raised his hand and greeted the camera, “Hello everyone, I am Li Zheng.”
“Mr. Li Zheng, how old are you?” Garcia smiled and threw out the first question.
“Seventeen, that’s the Chinese algorithm. Of course if you follow the British algorithm, maybe sixteen?” Li Zheng tapped his chin with his finger and made a contemplative face.
Garcia’s eyes lit up, she had thought that Li Zheng, a scholar who spent a lot of time in the laboratory, would be a little uncomfortable with the camera, which was why the first question was so simple, trying to use it to relax Li Zheng and guide him into the state.
But now it seemed that she was overdoing it.
“Oh ~ of course your age information are written, I just wanted to hear the answer from you, at sixteen, I was probably still torn about which party to confess to the lad I had a crush on.”
“Then that young man must have been very happy.” Li Zheng picked up the conversation.
“I think so too.” Garcia shrugged, “My viewers shouldn’t be that interested in my teenage feelings, well, now let’s get back to business and talk about balsamethasone and carbapenem antibiotics.”
Garcia picked up two journals from the table, Microbiology and the English Medical Journal, “I’m sure those of you in the medical community know the weight of these two journals, Mr. Li Zheng is the youngest person to be published in them.” She said handing over the English Journal of Medicine.
“This is a sample issue, and I think the English Medical Journal should pay me for the manual postage.”
“Mr. Li Zheng, the British Ministry of Health and the United Nations Health Organization have reached a cooperation on the frozen blood project and have listed your drug as the designated drug for this project. What are your thoughts on this?”
Li Zheng was even more surprised, he was fully engaged in the development of carbapenem antibiotics these days, although not so much that he didn’t know anything happening outside, but he hadn’t really heard of this matter.
“I am honored, as I said at the Asian Biopharmaceutical Conference, compared to certain universal diseases and special diseases, although the scope of the disease is smaller, that is why these patients need more attention from the outside world, I am glad that I can help, and Li Zheng Special Disease Research Foundation will continue to work on this.” Li Zheng replied with his standard smile, making it impossible to tell that he was hearing this news for the first time.
The two discussed for a while around the medicine, and the topic led to the hottest antibiotic event now.
“Your antibiotics has saved many people, and this incident of drug-resistant strains of infection at Queen Mary Hospital is a hot topic not only in Hong Kong, but also in the UK. It has triggered us to think about the phenomenon of antibiotic abuse, knowing that in the UK 20,000 tons of antibiotics are used in a year, which is a staggering figure.”
“Biopharmaceuticals, biology is the prerequisite and fundamental of pharmaceuticals. In fact, we study biopharmaceuticals, people have always insisted that human resistance is the best medicine. But resistance is like a limb, if you ignore it without using it, it will gradually degenerate. The abuse of antibiotics has largely weakened the role of the body’s own resistance, which is actually undesirable. I suggest that whether it is Hong Kong, Britain or other regions, attention should be paid to moderately controlling the use of antibiotics.” Speaking professionally, Li Zheng was calm and confident, making people forget his age.
Garcia froze slightly for a moment, and then immediately came back to her senses.
“Yes, under the influence of this incident, a certain member of our council has made a proposal to do a good job of regulating the use of antibiotics.”
“For this antibiotic incident, I actually have something else I want to say.” Li Zheng squared his body, ignoring Jenny Garcia’s stunned gaze, he continued: “In fact, all the carbapenem antibiotics sent to Mary’s Hospital this time hasn’t passed the drug test, or its drug test performance wasn’t good, a batch of mice injected with pharmaceuticals, their survival rate was less than thirty percent.”
All the cameras were unanimously aimed at Li Zheng, and Garcia turned the tableau hard, and she was sure that this time it was not on the tableau.
In fact, the antibiotics used in the Mary’s Hospital incident were not marketed or even passed drug trials, something that many people knew all too well, but everyone, including the families of the patients who died from the infection, tacitly kept their mouths shut about it. Because they knew, if this matter surfaced, not only Mary’s Hospital, even Li Zheng, the drug developer would also be pushed to the forefront of the storm.
No one wanted to see this result, even the families of the patients who made trouble.
“I think this matter should not be a secret, on the waiver agreement, or through other means, as long one has the intention to find out, it isn’t difficult. I’ve been following Mary’s Hospital incident, President Chen Xuhua is someone I respect, and seeing the news today, I think I must say something.”
Li Zheng weighed his words, then slowly leaned his body on the sofa.
“The danger of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection should have been popularized in the newspaper news these days, so I won’t say much more. In fact, the biggest reason why I wanted to develop the drug day and night at that time was because my respected teacher was among the infected people of this drug-resistant strain. I remember very clearly that it was raining heavily that night, and when I got the call and waited for a while, I couldn’t help but run out to pick up the samples, I saw a nurse in a white nurse’s uniform in the pouring rain, holding a laboratory sample and a whole box of patient medication records. She didn’t bring an umbrella, her petite body was half bent, her entire upper body covered the box tightly, her entire body was soaked, but the information in the box didn’t have a trace of water.”
Li Zheng propped up the hand that was placed between his knees and crossed his fingers.
“I was surprised but more shocked, the next day and night, we used almost all the antibiotics, and unfortunately the sample was resistant to almost all the existing antibiotics. We were actually able to conclude at that point that the infection was Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but we didn’t say anything to anyone. Then the bad news came one after another, the teacher had a high fever, was dehydrated and lost consciousness. I can understand how any family member feels.”
“After that day, all the professors of the Hong Kong University School of Medicine stayed in the laboratory with me, and I was told that even if the treatment was injurious, the teacher could only have five or six days at most, and that injurious treatment would cause great pain and sequelae to the patient, and wasn’t recommended in medicine for patients who had little hope of survival. It was with this in mind that we conducted experiment after experiment.”
“The experiments succeeded and failed. We succeeded in extracting a carbapenem-like antibiotic with a stable drug structure, but like many antibiotics, it was strongly toxic, had an extremely low survival rate in biological test mice, and was almost judged unfit for human clinical use by drug experiment standards.”
“But I knew it worked! This was only out of my personal professional judgment, without the slightest institutional support, but my teacher signed the drug clinical trial waiver agreement. Although the agreement was almost invalid for a drug that didn’t even pass the biological trial, my teacher, he signed it anyway, not only because it was his only hope, but because he was a biologist and behind him were over a hundred other patients who were infected with the same infection as he was.”
“If it succeeded, he would be able to convince the hospital to take great risks to give the drug to other patients; if it failed, I was the one who provided the drug, and he and his family wouldn’t hold me accountable. He was protecting me while giving other patients hope.” Li Zheng’s voice seemed a little low as he spoke.
The lounge was quiet, everyone did not say a word, and even their breathing became very quiet.