Can everyone say self-centered, murderous, ignorant pig?
This is the guy who ignored CDC requests not to fly with an active case of highly drug resistant TB.
To begin with, he'd had a talk with his local health department (quoted from Washington Post):
Eric Benning, the head of the communicable disease branch of the Fulton County
health department, met with the patient and his personal physician.
Benning said yesterday that he had told the man "it was our
recommendation that he not travel because of the potential exposure of
other people, but also for his benefit."
Benning said the man
mentioned his plans to go to Europe and said he felt well but was
willing to take precautions. Benning said he advised the man to wear a
mask when in public, confined
"I didn't ask him specifically if he was going to travel. He said I had not provided him with any compelling reason not to travel," Benning recalled.
I guess the part about the potential exposure of other people is sort of irrelevant, in terms of a compelling reason not to travel.
Instead, he headed off to Greece, "thinking everything was fine."
That is to say, having been advised that he was infectious with TB (even regular old treatable TB is no picnic), he took off, ignoring the bit about wearing a mask too.
From the AP feed we have this track of his wedding trip:
The infected man had flown to Paris on May 12 aboard Air France
Flight 385, also listed as Delta Air Lines codeshare Flight 8517,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He and his bride also took four shorter flights while in Europe
— Paris to Athens on May 14; Athens to Thira Island May 16; Mykonos
Island to Athens May 21; and Athens to Rome May 21 — but
officials said there was less risk of infection during the shorter hops
compared to the trans-Atlantic flights, which each lasted eight hours
It was while they were in Rome that he learned further U.S.
tests had determined his TB was the rare, extensively drug-resistant
form, far more dangerous than he knew. Officials told him turn himself
over to Italian health officials and not to fly on any commercial
Instead, on May 24, he flew from Rome to Prague on Czech Air
Flight 0727, then flew to Montreal aboard Czech Air Flight 0104 and
drove into the U.S., according to CDC officials.
So in Italy he knew it was bad, bad enough to scare him: a life-threatening, contagious disease, public health people driving across the city to talk to him immediately.
So what does he do?
As quoted in the International Herald Tribune:
The man told The Journal-Constitution he was in Rome during his
honeymoon when the CDC told him to turn himself in to Italian
authorities to be isolated and be treated. The CDC told him he could
not fly aboard commercial airliners.
"I thought to myself: You're nuts," he said. "I wasn't going to do
that. They told me I had been put on the no-fly list and my passport
He told the paper he and his wife decided to sneak back into the
United States via Canada. He said he voluntarily went to a New York
hospital, then was flown by the CDC to Atlanta.
He is not facing prosecution, health officials said. [Why not?]
According to the CDC, it wasn't about quarantining him in Italy, it was about arranging for safe transportation — air ambulance.
But jerkface wasn't waiting around to find out.
Having gotten his European trip in under the wire, he wanted to sneak on home on his own terms. And so he did.
And now they get to track down everyone from all those flights, especially the transatlantic one over to Paris and the other to Canada. They need to test everyone for five rows around him
Apparently it's not that he was in a highly infectious state, but rather that this particular bug is really, really bad, and any is too much.
And here is the part that really makes me want to pound my head on the wall.
(Or his, I'd settle for his.)
Now that someone has outed him (Andrew Speaker, 31, Navel Academy, University of Georgia, BA Finance, and Law), he's whining."
"I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," he told
the paper. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my
door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole
But, hey, jerkface is only my opinion.
Oh and maybe hers:
Among those being tested are more than two dozen University of South
Carolina Aiken students, school spokeswoman Jennifer Lake said
Thursday. Two were apparently sitting near him, possibly in the same
row, she said.
One of those students, Laney Wiggins, said she is awaiting her skin test results, expected Friday.(Yahoo News)
On the other hand,
He's a great guy. Gregarious,'' said Pam Hood, a former neighbor. “He's a wonderful guy. Just a very, very pleasant man.''(AP)
I'm not sure if gregarious is a good thing in a disease carrier.
[Oh, and by the way.
The good news about him maybe not being very contagious?
Here's a cheerful factum:
Repeated subsequent smear tests of the man’s sputum performed at
Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan and at Grady Memorial Hospital in
Atlanta were negative. Those findings suggest a low chance that the man
transmitted the infection to others. But in 17 percent of tuberculosis
cases the source is a patient whose smear is negative, according to
studies from Vancouver, British Columbia, and from San Francisco. (New York Times)]
Think maybe I'll walk across country next time.