But, hey, they got those shampoo bottles off the planes

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
or more.
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
was flagged."
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
solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing.

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.''

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.

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18 responses to this post.

  1. It's pretty difficult to catch TB. But still the type he has is so drug resistant that if someone did catch it, they would have an even more difficult time getting better. I think the guy was just selfish. He wanted his vacay and he didn't really give a rat's ass about those around him. He didn't even wear a mask. asshole.


  2. This really irritates the piss out of me. Roisin's right, he was being completely selfish. The more I hear about him the more angry I get. I just don't know how someone can have such little regard for the welfare of those around them. What if he was sitting next to an elderly person, or someone with AIDS or a compromised immune system?


  3. "I'm not sure if gregarious is a good thing in a disease carrier." Great line…I didn't realize it was his honeymoon. Wonder what his wife thinks.


  4. This clown is in Denver getting treatment now.
    And what is more…his freaking FATHER-IN-LAW is a tuberculosis specialist. So it's not like he had no clue how dangerous the disease is and what kind of risks he was taking by travelling in utter defiance of health warnings to the contrary.


  5. I am sooo working on not going into conspiracy mode, though in the papers people are asking why all the public health stuff went through so slowly in Atlanta.With his father-in-law working there, with his wedding planned, and so on.I don't believe in conspiracies.Don't….


  6. Well, I'm more in the "selfish pig" school of thought myself.
    Public health stuff is always slow. Conspiracy implies intent and deliberation. But we're talking about a government bureaucracy here. "Inertia" is more the word that comes to mind.


  7. Very good post, lauowolf. This is drug RESISTANT TB. Not just your ordinary everyday common cold TB. (sarcasm, that's bad enough) Can this asshole be charged with murder when several people with compromised immune systems (infants, the elderly) come down with HIS TB (yes, they can genetically test it to see) and die????


  8. Here is a statement from his wife's father.
    Do you hear the implied "I hope he recovers quickly so I can kick his ass"? =)


  9. I read this on popurls the other day, I am just as angry, if not more so now after reading what else I learned here.


  10. "I didn't realize it was his honeymoon. Wonder what his wife thinks."Me, either. Me, too.What an asshole. That's all I can say: Asshole.


  11. Another tidbit I just read…he is a personal injury lawyer. I'm sorry, that is just too ironic.


  12. That means he can defend the lawsuits against him himself if he's given anyone tb with his little games.


  13. My thoughts exactly! I read the news report and was shocked speechless at the kind of selfish behavior he displayed. And what really blew me was his 'I'm an intelligent, successful blah blah' line of reasoning. Intelligent?? Really? For ignoring the risk you were running to all the others unfortunate enough to run into you? And even after being explicitly told his plane had been flagged, he sneaked back in via Canada! Putting I don't know how many others at risk! Intelligent??


  14. Bloody idiot. How can he be so selfish?


  15. He should charged for the costs of tracking down all those people and the subsequent testing and/or treatment.


  16. What an asshole. I haven't heard anything about his wife…I mean, she's been exposed, obviously, what about her? How many flights has she been on? Is she quarantined too?
    But this is the mindset in this country: no, not me, can't inconvenience me. It will be fine. The risks of anyone else catching it are low because I am otherwise healthy, not coughing and in denial. I don't want to look like a weirdo in public or freak anyone out or get called Michael Jackson. I will just live in denial and deal with the (10,000 times worse) consequences later….I will ignore everything because I know best. I will sneak around the authorities and then complain when my privacy is taken away and all that shit…
    I hate people.


  17. Oh, so now we've got the customs guy pulling up the computer alert on this guy (detain, put on protective gear), and waving him through anyway because he looked healthy.If this guy were an Arab he'd be in Guantanamo now; lucky for him he's a home-grown good ol' boy.


  18. this is horrible. how could someone be so stupid and self-centered and inconceivably idiotic?


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