Monday, July 16, 2007

Sweeping Tuberculosis Under the Carpet

Remember Andrew Speaker?

Remember how he had tuberculosis?

Remember how he threatened the lives of others?

Well, meet Franklin Greenwood. Franklin, a fifty year old citizen of Arkansas also has tuberculosis. You see, he had been held in isolation at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science after X-rays found he had a disease in his lungs that was pretty consistent with TB. However, there was a slight problem. On July 1st, Mr. Greenwood jumped out of his third floor apartment and escaped. According to one health official, there were going to be no plans to inform the public that Mr. Greenwood was on the loose:

"We never would have gone public. This is not our initiative," said Dr. Joe Bates, deputy state health officer. "This is an exceedingly rare experience and we don't have a standard protocol, but its always worked well for us to deal with it like we did with in this way -- find the person and get them under treatment."

That's excellent. I'm really glad the state of Arkansas has the best interests of their citizens in mind. Let the crazy man with a deadly illness that can potentially spread and kill others roam free without warning. What a splendid idea that would've been. Of course, while the Andrew Speaker story is still getting plenty of press (according to Google News Search, there are two thousand or so stories featuring his name), the Franklin Greenwood story has gotten only a minuscule amount of coverage (88 links).

Considering this was a major, major fuck up that is still unresolved (he hasn't been caught yet, folks), you'd think the media could try a little bit more and cover a story that has current relevance.

No comments: