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The TB man story has me completely mesmerized. I've been doing this a few years and it seems every time a story pops up about somebody who has suddenly contracted some strange or incurable disease, it's somebody who is either from the Third World or was traveling through some godforsaken hellhole and somehow managed to contract ooga booga fever.
Say I got dengue fever in Mogadishu, Somalia, just for instance. You tend not to get dengue fever in Los Angeles or Jersey City, I believe. So when this TB story broke about the guy flying halfway around the world with a super serious drug-resistant strain of TB, I thought it would be the usual scenario.
The guy is in the U.S. He's coughing and knows he's got TB, but doesn't realize he's got incurable TB. Gets on planes headed to Europe to a must-attend wedding. Informed there he has a bad disease. Sneaks back into the U.S. because he knows that's the best health care. That's the narrative you expect the story to take.
Instead, the stunner today. Andrew Speaker was informed he had TB and advised not to travel. Still not certain if he was told it was this super duper TB. He's a personal injury lawyer whose law practice has to include negligence cases and all they entail. Hello?
Worse, his father-in-law is a TB scientist at the CDC and knows how bad these things are.
Worse still, after flying to Europe with a planeload of innocents who may turn out to be victims, he is informed in Italy that health authorities there want to confine and quarantine him. But instead of submitting, he escapes!
He then exposes another couple planeloads of people as he flies back to North America, disembarks in Montreal and picks up a rental car to drive back into the U.S. Hertz, Avis, National... somebody is burning that car right now.
This is a guy who would sue someone back to the Stone Age for doing all that. I know the wedding guests were all assembling in Italy. I know they all paid for their tickets. I know the band was booked. I know the bride had her dress. I know the caterer was teed up, and I know the cake was in the oven.
But come on. You can't say to your wife-to-be, honey, I might kill all the wedding guests? She wouldn't say, fine, honey, we'll put it off?
What drove Andrew Speaker to fly around the globe spreading incurable TB?
Believe me, stay in this business long enough and you see something you've never seen before.
That's My Word.
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