Say what you will about Andrew Speaker, the Atlanta lawyer who traveled abroad and then back into the U.S. with T.B., but you have to give him credit for getting his story out there first. His appearance on Larry King Live last night was covered this a.m. by CNN, complete with video and even a tape recording by his father of the doctor telling him there was no need for him to be sequestered.
Speaker is smartly apologizing after the fact for unwittingly (he says) putting others at risk. But his messaging has been nothing short of brilliant. I’d say the following are his three key messages:
(1) I was never told by people I trusted in the medical profession that I could not travel
(2) I would never have put my fiance and my 8-year-old daughter at risk, let alone all of these other strangers, if I had known the severity of my illness
(3) I’m sorry, but I really didn’t do anything wrong
By repeating these and getting ahead of the story by appearing on Larry King, Speaker has put the biggest question marks around the CDC, border patrol and all of the doctors involved.
I’m not a big fan of what he has done, but I have to give him major props for a communications coup.