Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More on TB Andrew

More on TB Andrew, today’s version of Typhoid Mary:

  1. The Official Story has to get him over to Europe, and only then discover he has a big problem, when fear of the Italian medical system – btw, better on all objective measurements than the American medical system – and the expense of a private jet, forced him to take a commercial flight home, by way of Canada to avoid the American no-fly list (a list he wasn’t even on until after he was back in the States, although he was told he was, and although, if you want to believe it, he was on another list, the one the border guard ignored).  The problem I have is with the Official Story is that he knew before he left the States that he had TB, but didn’t know that he had untreatable TB.  The doctors who diagnosed him knew he had contagious TB, but just advised him not to fly, advice he ignored.  Is advising him the best they could do?  Wouldn’t Americans expect that a serious contagious disease might be treated with a little more care?  There was a massive series of bureaucratic slip-ups and delays, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims to have only found him due to the suspicious new father-in-law connection.  All this from a country which, under the guise of the ‘war on terror’, claims to be terrified of a ‘terrorist’ attack using communicable diseases spread in a public place.

  2. In fact, and suspiciously, the CDC has been lobbying for changes to the American laws on quarantine.  The scare has already begun.

  3. Actually, even before he left the States he knew he had TB that was “resistant to first-line drugs”, so apparently the emergency call was to tell him that it was really, really “resistant to first-line drugs”.  It wasn’t just plain old multidrug-resistant, it was “extensively drug-resistant”.

  4. His medical insurance paid for his $12,000 private flight from Atlanta to Denver, and is apparently paying for his multi-hundreds-of-thousands of dollars medical treatment in Denver.  Why didn’t he go to them to pay for his private flight home from Georgia?

  5. His wife, who has as a father a man who is an expert on TB, seems remarkably sanguine about the whole thing, and, as Yayacanada notes, is the only one who didn’t bother wearing a mask in the interview.  ‘Untreatable’ TB doesn’t bother her in the least.

I have to close with this excerpt from an article from the Register-Guardian (emphasis in red):

After a crucial meeting where health authorities advised Andrew Speaker not to travel because he had drug-resistant tuberculosis, the man changed his Air France plane ticket and left the country two days ahead of schedule, a health official said.

Kim Speaker of Atlanta, the man's sister, said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Saturday that her brother wasn't in any way trying to flee the country early. Rather, she said, the stress of being diagnosed with a potentially deadly disease and the prospect of two years of treatment had caused Andrew Speaker so much anxiety and sleepless nights that his fiancee urged him to head out early for their wedding in Greece.”

This whole story is nuts.