May 30, 2007

Well, y'see, he has rights!

The first dude in some 40 years has had to be officially quarantined by the US government for a rare form of tuberculosis. He ignored doctors' advice and went hopscotching all over the friggin' planet on jet flights which included stops in Paris, Rome, Prague and Montreal. Of course, in the enclosed confines of a jet, he exposed countless people to possible infection. Check out the arrogant chutzpah of this putz:

The man told the Journal-Constitution that CDC officials contacted him in Rome and said he had to be isolated and treated in Italy. He didn't want his honeymoon to end with him being carried away by authorities, he told authorities, so he and his wife took a flight to Canada and drove back to the United States, the newspaper reported.

Yeah, I don't want to disappoint my new wife, so I'll go ahead and possibly [lethally] infect a few hundred more people!

Then there's this knee-slapper:

"I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," the man 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."

OH! Other than nabbing a flight in which hundreds more innocent people were potentially exposed to a lethal disease, he's cooperated! And since that "mere" one instance of non-cooperation, it's "insane" that he be treated the way he has. Some "intelligence" and "good education"!

Is this really any surprise in this day and age? It's "all about me," and to hell with the welfare of everyone else. How dare authorities treat him like some sort of criminal (even though there are no plans to pursue prosecution against the man)! A communicable infectious (and potentially lethal) disease? Pshaw -- no big deal! You know, we have to "educate" the public about it, and what's more, next we'll have to "accommodate" people with such diseases. It would not surprise me if airlines eventually will have to provide a "quarantine section" in their jets soon -- but they can't call it a "quarantine section" because that would involve a "stigma." Such discernable notices of a jet's quarantine section could lead to lawsuits! In addition, to be doubly "safe," airlines would need to provide surgical masks for other passengers for the duration of the flight.

I'm willing to bet that the 'ol fear of lawsuits is a primary factor in why doctors (or other officials) could not -- or would not -- ground this idiot in the first place. This also reminds me of the early days of the appearance of HIV and AIDS. Doctors and other officials at the time still had many questions about the disease, and there were a great many unknowns still lingering. But, of course, since a very significant proportion (majority, actually) of those infected were gay men, this led to a vigorous PC offensive rarely seen. As David Horowitz (among others) wrote about that time,

Fourteen years and more than 300,000 deaths ago, Peter Collier and I wrote a story for California magazine about the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. At the time the virus had not yet been isolated and there had been only 3,000 fatalities nationally. But it was already clear to the medical community that the culprit was a retrovirus, that there might never be a cure, that AIDS cases among gays were doubling every six months and that if the behavioral patterns of gays and drug users did not change, there would be more than 300,000 people dead by 1997.

In normal circumstances, the minimal public health response to an impending epidemic would have been to identify the carriers of the disease by mandatory testing of at-risk communities, closing off "hot zones" of the epidemic, such as gay bathhouses and drug "shooting galleries," contact-tracing of those who had been in touch with the already sick and honest public education about the dangers of promiscuous anal sex among gays and needle-sharing among drug addicts.

None of these measures, Collier and I found, was acceptable to a powerful lobby of gay activists that labeled them as "discriminatory" and "homophobic" and made clear to any public health official who advocated them that they would be doing so at the risk of their careers. As a result, none of the standard public health measures were consistently deployed. Instead, a series of politically correct ideas and "community-approved" policies became the only measures feasible for political leaders to advocate, for the media to promote and for public health agencies to pursue.

My emphasis. I remember some of the other things Horowitz mentions in his article, notably the PSAs that claimed AIDS "is an 'equal opportunity' disease." Anyone with even a smidgen of honesty knew that here in the US at least, that was a bunch of BS; if you did not engage in one of the risk behaviors (mainly anal sex, intravenous drug use) you were at virtually zero risk of ever contracting the disease. Most heterosexuals who got HIV were either intravenous drug users themselves, had sex with drug users, or had had a blood transfusion with infected blood. I also recall the self-righteousness of basketball great Ervin "Magic" Johnson at a meeting with President George HW Bush at the White House where he excoriated the chief exec for "not doing enough" in the battle against AIDS -- another PC line of attack by the way. Johnson, who had slept with literally thousands of women (a lot UNsafely, it's safe to assume), complaining to the president for his predicament? Reminds me a lot of our TB-infected air passenger.

While I can sympathize with how the far-Right would portray the illness among gay men ("God's wrath," which many indeed did), which ultimately makes more sense: The lives of people, or someone's sense of "correct" social perception? What should have happened during the early AIDS epidemic should have happened with this self-absorbed moronic world traveler -- namely, the dude should have been forbidden to travel period, under penalty of law. With regards to AIDS, Horowitz notes, usual measures would have been "mandatory testing of at-risk communities, closing off 'hot zones' of the epidemic," and "contact-tracing of those who had been in touch with the already sick."

Posted by Hube at May 30, 2007 04:57 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I remember the same facts about the spread of AIDS.
I also comment on having compassion for GAYS. They were not very compassionate when they spread their disease using blood donations. Hemophiliacs suddenly had the disease, and DIED.

Now we have another pending epidemic that is not politically correct to prevent. Diseases entering this country from Mexico and the illegal immigrant invasion. Regular tuberculosis is back.
Be very afraid, when was the last time your children were vaccinated? Are they in college now?

Now where do these illegals work? How about in the food chain? Farms and cafeterias. In the kitchens of many restaurants? Great place to spread diseases that were eradicated from the USA but not from these other countries.

Sure my ancestors immigrated here. But they stopped at Ellis Island as a HEALTH precaution.

It does not hurt anyone? As stated earlier in this post => BS.

As an old Vietnam era song stated,
"Whoopie, we are all going to die."

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Posted by: Paul at May 31, 2007 11:34 PM

Another concern with the spread of disease is the nations blood supply. Last week we read that there were experiments at Christiana Hospital with synthetic blood. Who should be the guinea pigs?

Those who can not donate to the safe blood supply. Next time you donate to the blood bank, read the warnings about who can not donate. Sexual deviants and intravenous drug users.

Is is selfish to demand that safe blood should be reserved for those with safe habits? Is it reckless and foolish to have reckless sex and use drugs. With that careless attitude, what is a little syn-blood? Go ahead, take another chance.

And remember the sympathy and compassion your predecessors showed to the hemophiliacs in the early 1980's.

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Posted by: Paul at May 31, 2007 11:54 PM