Saturday, June 02, 2007

TB Test

Lots of good questions have been raised about the case of Andrew Speaker. the American personal injury lawyer who traveled on many planes on his way to and from Europe, supposedly with an untreatable strain of TB.  Even those who have trouble with conspiracy theories are having trouble with this one:

  1. He went to Europe for his wedding.  There are wedding pictures, but it is claimed that the wedding didn’t occur as the couple lacked the proper papers (latest here).

  2. There a a number of conflicting stories about what happened.

  3. He is is the first infected person quarantined by the U.S. government since 1963.

  4. He is a personal injury lawyer, who presumably would be aware of the potential for law suits against him for behaving like this.

  5. His new father-in-law (assuming there was a wedding) just happens to be a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention microbiologist who is an expert on TB (this is the ‘coincidence’ which catches your attention).

  6. Despite having his passport flagged with a warning, including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask, and telephone health authorities, the border guard who saw the warning appear on his computer disregarded it and allowed Speaker into the United States.  I’ve never heard of a civil servant who would ignore a warning to don protective gear for his own protection!

  7. Speaker attended the U.S. Naval Academy.

My wild guess is that he doesn’t have TB at all, and that this is some kind of test of protocols, or perhaps a political stunt to increase border security.