Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Jackass with Highly Drug Resistant TB or Andrew Speaker: Patient Zero

This story is incredulous. Let's start here:
Speaker said in a newspaper interview that he knew he had TB when he flew from Atlanta to Europe in mid-May for his wedding and honeymoon, but that he did not find out until he was already in Rome that it was an extensively drug-resistant strain considered especially dangerous.
You're joking, right? Well, shoot, if it were just regular TB, it's perfectly fine to trot across the globe and infect people?
Speaker's tuberculosis was discovered when he had a chest X-ray in January for a rib injury, Huitt said.
Gee, I could understand the confusion. The guy only knew he had the disease 5 months before his trip.

The saddest part of the story is that his new father-in-law, Robert C. Cooksey, works for the CDC AND deals directly with TB issues! First, how does the father-in-law not know his son-in-law has a highly infectious disease? Second, if the father-in-law did know about his son-in-law's infection, how did he allow him to travel? Highly suspect that: "Cooksey would not comment on whether he reported his son-in-law to federal health authorities." Then again, it's also telling when this is stated:
``I'm hoping and praying that he's getting the proper treatment, that my daughter is holding up mentally and physically,'' Cooksey said. ``Had I known that my daughter was in any risk, I would not allow her to travel.''
Maybe I'm reading into that too closely or maybe a full quote wasn't given by the press, but there doesn't seem to be too much concern for the son-in-law. That said, this is directly from the CDC website:
If you are infectious while you are at home, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and others near you. Your doctor may tell you to follow these guidelines to protect yourself and others:
*Do not go to work or school. Separate yourself from others and avoid close contact with anyone. Sleep in a bedroom away from other family members.
Seems pretty self explanatory that extensive travel across the globe and sharing confined spaces like an airliner and hotel rooms would be out of the question. I know some people might bring up the fact that this man may have been on a regimen of medicine and he could have been cleared to travel. Seems highly unlikely considering his specific TB bug is so drug resistant. I would hope the health care officials involved would have narrowed that down in the 5 months that it was known about this TB infection. According to WaPo article, he knew we wasn't supposed to travel:
officials said the man had recently been diagnosed with TB and knew he should not travel when he left the United States on May 12.

After testing revealed his tuberculosis was extensively drug-resistant, he was contacted in Europe by health authorities and told not to take a commercial flight home -- advice he ignored.
I understand the need to stand up for your family and for your children, but when the actual father states:
Speaker's father told WSB-TV: ``The way he's been shown and spoken about on TV, it's like a terrorist traveling around the world escaping authorities. It's blown out of proportion immensely.''
That makes you an equal jackass! He was trying to escape and evade authorities!
Despite warnings from federal health officials not to board another long flight, he flew home for treatment, fearing he wouldn't survive if he didn't reach the U.S., he said. He said he tried to sneak home by way of Canada instead of flying directly into the U.S.
And that brings us lastly to the dipshit border agent who cleared the jackass to continue traveling:
The inspector ran Speaker's passport through a computer, and a warning - including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities - popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records.

The Homeland Security Department is investigating.

The border officer ``who questioned that person is at present performing administrative duties,'' said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke, adding that the officer is not checking people at the land border crossing.

Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents customs and border agents, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said ``public health issues were not receiving adequate attention and training'' within the agency.
I would think the people who came in contact with this traveling jackass could sue the hell out of the dipshit who didn't do his job. You get a notice to detain a traveler and notify health officials and you don't even call you supervisor?! And you work for the Department of Homeland Security?! Really?!

This whole story has too much gross negligence and idiocy to go around. The worst part is that the rampant stupidity could massively affect the well being of the greater population. Survival of the fittest is working in quasi-reverse here when one moronic host can potentially knock out a larger population. Best quote: "The unidentified inspector explained that he was no doctor but that the infected man seemed perfectly healthy". Well, he's not a doctor and apparently not a competent inspector either. It's disgusting that the guy still has job and is still working even if he, "is at present performing administrative duties". Does "accountability" not mean anything anymore?

Friday, May 18, 2007

It's been a while... time for NIN

Haven't posted in a while. Found something interesting I thought I would share from Nine Inch Nails' website per Trent Reznor (My bold emphasis):
As the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more. A couple of examples that quickly come to mind:

* The ABSURD retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia. Shame on you, UMG. Year Zero is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne's record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 US).
By the way, when I asked a label rep about this his response was: "It's because we know you have a real core audience that will pay whatever it costs when you put something out - you know, true fans. It's the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy."
So... I guess as a reward for being a "true fan" you get ripped off.
ANd if you're a fan of Reznor and not a fan of the current music industry, you'll probably enjoy his most recent interview with Australia's Hearld Sun.

Have to say, I miss the days of spending hours at the music shop browsing for tunes. It's hard finding a good quality album that hasn't been rushed with one or two singles marketed and pushed while the rest is less than so-so. Regardless, I bet NIN's August 22, 2007 show will be more than amazing. What a line up.