Andrew Speaker traveled to Europe and Canada on commercial flights knowing that he had tuberculosis. That just isn’t smart. All of this debate about who bears the responsibility for a globetrotting man with a drug resistant strain of TB is both necessary and mind-numbing.
The CDC poorly handled the situation. Homeland Security dropped the ball when a border guard did not detain Mr. Speaker at the Canadian/U.S. border. Both of those institutions need to reevaluate and revamp.
But Mr. Speaker needed to use a little common sense. I understand that he had longstanding and expensive plans. He left the country to get married on a Greek island and then honeymoon in Italy. I empathize with this man and his new bride. I’m aware that the doctors who were monitoring Speaker were not as assertive as they should have been; although there are conflicting reports from both camps concerning what information was provided.
Here is the cold hard fact: Speaker knew that he had TB, and a particularly nasty strain of TB. That fact alone should have prevented him from traveling on a commercial flight! Sure it would have been a difficult decision to cancel those lovely plans. Yes, he and his bride would have been extremely disappointed.
It is what he should have done. That would have been the common sense thing to do.