Defending the Indefensible

A defense of the guy who flew back to the US with ultra-drug resistant TB. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Indeed, I’m not sure what I’d have done in his shoes, either.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. You know, I always had a lot of sympathy for this guy. The public and media made him out to be villian #1, up there with Bin Laden and Hitler. The truth is, he was just a guy who wanted to go abroad, get married, and come home. Not so much to ask.

    When he first tested positive for TB, it is likely that he was permitted to fly. Inactive cases of TB are generally not grounds for a mandatory quarantine. The CDC website says as much. Though they likely warned against air travel, Speaker had a wedding to go to. His own.

    Can you imagine what his wife probably said to him? As a wife-to-be, I’ll tell you what she said to him: “Get your ass on a plane.”

    And as for coming home – yeah, he knew he had some bad shit by then, but the information was incomplete. Without further tests, it was impossible to ascertain exactly the nature of his illness and its level of progression. Furthermore, he was scared out of his mind. And he really believed that staying in Italy could cost him his life. Last point – the likelihood was, he was no more infectious than when he left for Europe (when CDC told him he COULD fly).

    Given those fact, again, can you imagine what his wife probably said to him? As a wife-to-be, I’ll tell you what she said to him: “Get your ass on a plane.”

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