TV Newser is calling Diane Sawyer's GMA sit-down with Andrew Speaker, the peripatetic tuberculosis patient who ended up risking the health of people on two continents, "the biggest get of the week."
And what was this week's second biggest get? Tuberculosis!
In their interview, Speaker--seen here wearing the Peter Sarsgaard brand SARS guard--expressed remorse for his actions, but defended himself, telling Sawyer that "at every turn," health officials, "conveyed to me that my family, my wife, my daughter, no one was at risk. And that I was not contagious." And he even has "a tape recording of a meeting with health officials that he said would confirm his view that it was OK to travel in his condition." That's right: a tape recording. Just because he's thorough. Not at all because he thought for a minute he might get in trouble.
We suppose we should give Speaker a break. After all, he's basically going to be known as "the TB guy" for the rest of his life. Though, who knows? With ABC optioning the rights to the Geico cavemen to build a sitcom, maybe Speaker can turn being "the TB guy" to his advantage.
Besides, we do feel a little bad for the guy. Consider this: his father-in-law, who is a microbiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who specializes in the etiology of tuberculosis, knowing full well that the CDC was recommending that Speaker not travel, offered him the "fatherly advice" that it was okay for him to travel, questioning the CDC's motives: "And that's when my father said, 'OK, are you saying because he's a risk to anybody or are you simply saying it to cover yourself?' And they said, 'We have to tell you that to cover ourselves, but he's not a risk.'"
We at Eat The Press are more or less 100% sure that if our in-laws learned of our scorching case of XDR-TB*, they'd probably tell us: "Yeah...it might be smart if you, say, went to a hospital or something.
*XDR-TB you ask? According the GMA's article, it's the name of a tuberculosis strain that's "extremely drug resistant." As in, "Xtremely Drug Resistant: TB," perhaps? Well, The More You Know!