It’s all about me and my TB!June 3, 2007 at 1:03 am | Posted in Andrew Speaker, CDC, Generation Me, Public Health, TB | 1 Comment
I nominate Andrew Speaker as the poster boy for the “Me Generation”. Generation Me is a term that describes people that don’t know how to put duty before self; people that believe that the needs of the individual should come first; people who take it for granted that the self comes first and feel no responsibility for their actions; people who feel entitled. Here are my arguments for your consideration.
Tuberculosis is caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. It affects the lungs and can lead to symptoms such as chest pain and coughing up blood. It kills nearly 2 million people each year worldwide. Multidrug-resistant” TB can withstand the mainline antibiotics isoniazid and rifampin. The man at the center of the current case was infected with something even worse — “extensively drug-resistant” TB, also called XDR-TB, which resists many drugs used to treat the infection.
A few points to ponder after listening to Andrew Speaker interview. If Speaker truly believed that he was harmless then why was his father compelled to secretly tape record the conversation? I think there are two reasons for this (a) if the CDC quarantined him, the tape would have been used to sue the CDC and health officials for denying his civil liberties by detaining and confining him against his will, or (b) suing the CDC and health officials for not properly warning him if he had actually infected someone else. Either way, it does show that he or at least the father knew that he was in a high risk situation and that he was more concerned about his own wedding happiness and any potential legal fallout then with the actual fact that he might actually cause pain and suffering in another human being.
Point 2. Somewhere around the time when Speaker was notified that he had XDR-TB he found out that he was put on the no-fly list and that he was asked to check himself into a hospital. By his actions I can only assume his only thoughts were “How can I get the best treatment for myself regardless of who I come in contact with”. Once again this shows his utter disregard for his fellow man.
Point 3. In Atlanta on May 10th Speaker admitted that “They said I was multi-drug resistant. I wanted to stay in Atlanta for treatment but they convinced me that with all the toxicity of the drugs and since there weren’t that many drugs left for me I should go to Denver, that it was my best chance of living through this.” Why wasn’t he in fear for his life at this time? Then in Europe on May 18th, Speaker said officials wanted him to check into a treatment center in Rome indefinitely. But he feared that if he did, he might not make it to Denver. “It is a very real threat that I could have died” in
Italy, he said.
Speaker’s attorneys will likely paint him as a “victim” despite the fact that he himself created hundreds of potential victims when he exposed them to one of the deadliest strains of TB via his reckless globe-trotting. So why should he be a victim? And one more thing, who is going to pay for testing all these people?