Saturday, October 13, 2007

More on the NASCAR Hullabuloo

In the post below is a video about Democrats getting immunizations before attending a NASCAR race in Ala and N.C. Here is some more info on that story.

  • WASHINGTON — Going to NASCAR? Are your inoculation records up to date? Have you had all your shots?
    Most fans would probably think that a homeland security emergency at a NASCAR race would take the form of a terror attack. But after hearing all the noise in Washington the last couple of days, they'd be wrong.
    The argument began when congressional aides were advised to get real-life immunizations against several communicable diseases — including hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus and influenza — before traveling to look at preparations being made by local first responders for hypothetical scenarios at the tracks in Talladega, Ala., and Concord, N.C.
    The head of the House Homeland Security Committee called it standard procedure, but the congressman representing Concord called that bunk.
    Gentlemen, start your engines . . .
    "I am beginning to get offended," said Republican Rep. Robin Hayes. "We thought it was silly that you needed to get a vaccination to come to Concord to go to the NASCAR races. This is the greatest sport on Earth today and you sure don't need a shot to come down here."
    Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said he never meant to offend or scare anyone about health risks at the races. The measure was advised to provide congressional staff with the same disease protection first responders get, especially as they head out on a series of fact-finding missions around the country.
    "It's not about whether the people have shots. ... Our staffs as they go forward will be going into sterile areas, they will be working in public health facilities, they will be talking to many holding facilities where criminals are being held....
    "The NASCAR event is just one date, but after that they will be doing a number of things," said Thompson, adding that the World Series and Super Bowl are two other mass gatherings that are going to be researched for readiness.
    During the trip to North Carolina, staffers were to visit a medical facility with patients at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. They were also set to inspect an empty mobile hospital. After the House physician told Republican staffers that shots were not necessary to go to North Carolina, they didn't get them. Democratic staffers reportedly did.
    Hayes said the vaccination orders left a biased impression that somehow NASCAR fans or Southerners are more likely to spread disease.
    "Bennie is a good friend. All Bennie has to do is say we weren't talking about the fans, so it is much about nothing. But when you won't back off, where do you from there? NASCAR is a great sport, [it] supports the military and it's an international sport now....

Read more here.

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