Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Family defends TB traveler Andrew Speaker; Stephen Colbert takes a vacation

Family members are defending Andrew Speaker, the man who recently traveled to Europe and back despite knowing he was infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis:

Cheryl Speaker said she wanted the world to know she and her family did not believe their acts were reckless.

"We are not people of reckless behavior," she said.


Questions exist about a meeting with local health officials before the trip to Greece. Officials say they told Andrew Speaker he would put others at risk by traveling abroad for the wedding and then returning home on a commercial flight.

"We asked him [the official] repeatedly during that meeting, 'Is he contagious?' All times they said, 'No, you're not contagious,'" Ted Speaker said.

Other family members agreed that no ambiguity had existed about whether Andrew Speaker could pass the illness along to others.

"Then he said of course, 'I prefer you not to travel. I prefer you just say here,'" Ted Speaker said. He said the official never gave a reason why.

"Well, are, are you just saying this to cover yourself?" Ted Speaker said he asked the official. "And he said, 'Yes,'" Ted Speaker said.

Ted Speaker claims to have an audiotape of the conversation. Here's a copy of the letter officials say they tried to deliver to Specter after their meeting on May 10:
The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness (redacted) has been notified that you are planning to travel to Greece on May 14, 2007. As a precaution it is strongly recommended that you postpone your travel and see a (redacted) specialist in Denver, Colorado. In the event you do not comply with this recommendation the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness (redacted) cannot be responsible for the exposure of this (redacted) to the public. It is imperative that you are aware that you are traveling against medical advice (AMA).
Andrew Speaker's family say they were never told he was a risk to anyone. So the situation remains unclear for now. In the meantime, Stephen Colbert went on vacation:


Anonymous said...

Speaker's defense is that when he flew to Europe, he did not know that he could infect the other passengers. By the time he flew home, his whole family knew that he had been told not to fly.

They blame the CDC and everyone else but they did have the funds to fly him home by private jet.

Andrew Speaker and his father, who assisted him, should bear the cost of testing for the hundreds of exposed passengers.

Anonymous said...

They had the money to pay for the CDC jet, they just felt it should have been given to them. I mean for godsakes he just had a 2 week honeymoon and wedding that I am sure he shelled out big bucks for. I know him on a personal level and he is an arrogant a*hole. He thinks he is better than just about everyone. So yea maybe he did not think he would infect anyone, but even if he did know he was contagious I don't think he would have cared one bit. Everything is about him. I hope he gets sued for everything he has, maybe that will knock him down a noch.

Anonymous said...

Speaker tried his case before the American public except it was only one-sided and at the end of the day we effectively only heard from him and his family. Yes, it is quite compelling from his side only. However, keep in mind that his and his father’s craft as a personal injury lawyers clearly tried to use their own facts and his father’s edited taping to make us think that he did not potentially endanged others. Bottom line, he exercised really bad judgment to carry out his personal agenda. So, who pays for all his medical expenses and the flights from the CDC? Is it the same US taxpayers who also financed his first 2 years of college at the Naval Academy before he dropped out? Who will pay for the medical attention required by those exposed to him?