PEJ News Coverage Index: May 27 - June 1, 2007, The Infamous 'TB Traveler' is the Top Story

Jun 04, 2007

During a televised press conference on May 29, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr. Julie Gerberding informed the nation that a man carrying a very dangerous form of drug-resistant tuberculosis may have infected passengers aboard several cross-Atlantic flights in May.

Because this “organism is so potentially serious…a federal order of isolation” had been issued for the unnamed infected man, Gerberding explained. It was the first such federal action, she added, in more than 40 years.

Only three days later, on June 1, that mystery man—also known as “Patient Zero”—gave an exclusive interview to Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Wearing a white mask over his mouth, Andrew Speaker, a 31-year-old Atlanta lawyer confined to a Denver hospital, had a message for those who accused him of being a modern day Typhoid Mary.

Read the full story and view charts on the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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