Clasance Botembe: Spreading It Around
January 27, 2009, 06:27 PM
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"Clasance Botembe?" you think to yourself. "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?"

Actually, Clasance is a guy with tuberculosis who lives in Champaign, Illinois. Now his girlfriend has TB, too. Clasance, you see, hasn`t followed directions public health officials gave him to stay isolated. So the stakes are being raised, as indicated in this article, from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Masked judge orders TB patient isolated in Champaign, Ill.

January 22, 2009 FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A Champaign tuberculosis patient will be tracked by GPS and could go to jail if he violates court orders that he remain isolated while being treated.

Champaign County Circuit Judge John Kennedy imposed those conditions on 20-year-old Clasance Botembe (CLAY-sahnce bo-TEM’-bay) on Wednesday.

Health officials and prosecutors say Botembe failed to take precautions to avoid spreading the disease. Court records say his girlfriend has TB after being exposed to him.

Ventilation was closed in the room at the county Health Department where Botembe appeared. Botembe, the judge and others in the room wore masks.

Botembe will be isolated for 30 days. He could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if he defies the judge’s order.

But you`re still shaking your head, going "Clasance Botembe?!?!" aren`t you? The Sun-Times, of course, doesn`t give you a clue, although they do, helpfully, tell you how to pronounce the name. It`s the same with the Boston Herald, the Kansas City Star, and Channel 10 TV in Tampa Bay, among the many media outlets running this Associated Press story.

Well, it turns out that the AP provided a bit of clarifying information that — surprise! — editors at all those places likely excised (or weren`t curious enough to look for), an example of long-distance groupthink. Here`s a very similar version of the story from the same source as published by the International Herald Tribune, with italics added by me at the key point:

US judge orders TB patient into isolation

The Associated Press Thursday, January 22, 2009

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois: A tuberculosis patient who failed to take precautions to avoid spreading the illness will be tracked by GPS and could go to jail if he violates court orders requiring him to remain isolated.

Champaign County Circuit Judge John Kennedy imposed those conditions Tuesday on 20-year-old Clasance Botembe, who is originally from Congo.

Health officials and prosecutors say Botembe failed to take precautions to avoid spreading the disease. Court records say his girlfriend got TB after being exposed to him.

Botembe is being treated at home. He, the judge and others wore masks during the hearing.

Botembe will be isolated for 30 days. He could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if he defies the judge`s order.

So ... Clasance Botembe! Things turned out just as experienced VDARE readers suspected, right?

There`s a bit more. The American Bar Association covered the story, too, evidently not using the feed from AP. Reading their article, you don`t learn about the Congo connection or how to pronounce Clasance`s name, but there is this cherry atop the sundae:

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will pay for Botembe’s rent, food, medication and confinement in a motel or hotel.