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TB patient asks passengers' forgiveness

June 1, 2007 at 8:53 AM

DENVER, June 1 (UPI) -- The Atlanta man with drug-resistant TB who set off an international health alert by flying abroad asked that fellow airline passengers forgive him.

Andrew Speaker, in an interview broadcast Friday by ABC's "Good Morning America," that a tape of his conversation with health officials will back up his decision to fly to Europe for his wedding and honeymoon.

"He says he wants everyone to know how he made the decision, why he felt so strongly that it was not endangering anybody else and (is) also asking forgiveness of those onboard who are now having to be tested," ABC's Diane Sawyer said after interviewing Speaker at the National Jewish Research Center in Denver.

Speaker was transferred to the Denver hospital where he was being treated for a dangerous form of tuberculosis and remained in isolation.

Speaker, a 31-year-old lawyer, has said health officials told him they "preferred" he did not fly.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control was contacting passengers and crew on Speaker's two trans-Atlantic flights to advise them to be tested.

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