Thursday, May 31, 2012

What? All immigrants, not just gay immigrants are to blame?

After a week of listening to Crank and JJ blame gay people for emo kids, political correctness run amok, and our country’s slowness in building skyscrapers, we were surprised to hear them blame immigrants, not just gay immigrants, for Chagas (SHAY-gus), a new disease dubbed “America’s new AIDS”.

Their whole segment talked about “the new AIDS” that anyone can get from blood sucking insects and profusely blamed immigrants for bringing this new disease to our backyards.

Crank and JJ didn’t quote a source for their news story, but we found a FOX News story that drew liberally from a New York Times story, which had reported on an editorial in a scientific paper.  In five minutes, we were able to dispel every lie Fox News reported and Crank and JJ helped spread, even if they didn’t get their story from Fox News.

The disease is not new.  It is prevalent from the Mexico-US border southward through Latin and South America.  It was first identified over one hundred years ago and some experts believe Darwin succumbed to the disease.

A particular type of insect, commonly called “the kissing bug”, which is related to our common assassin bug, transmits it.  Unlike our assassin bug, this insect sucks blood.  The parasite responsible for Chagas disease relies on the kissing bug to complete its life cycle.  The other part of its life cycle relies on opossums, armadillos, raccoons, squirrels, and mice.  In this country opossums and armadillos have been found to carry the parasite and are the health officials primary concern.

Cases of Chagas originating in this country are rare.  It’s no coincidence that the reason is the kissing bug is native to the Mexico-US border southward.  The bug, no doubt, wanders into our country because bugs generally don’t pay attention to national borders.

Most new cases of Chagas in this country are diagnosed in immigrants coming from south of our border.  The disease is not contagious.  Unlike the flu, you can’t get Chagas from being near an infected person.  Unlike AIDS, you can’t get it from having sex with an infected person.

Can you count the lies Crank and JJ spread yesterday?  Here’s our tally:

  1. It is not a new disease.  It’s been around probably forever.  At least we know it’s been around for over a hundred years when the parasite responsible for the disease was first identified.
  2. Immigrants didn’t bring a deadly disease to this country.  Although rare, it’s always been here in our opossums and armadillos.  Albeit a lot more people have the disease because they have come from areas where the disease is prevalent (30,000 immigrants according to Fox News), they aren’t spreading the disease to innocent Americans.
  3. Blood sucking insects don’t spread the disease.  A certain type of blood sucking insect does.  The insect is rare in this country.
  4. The disease has no similarities to AIDS other than if left untreated it can kill.
Four lies spread yesterday, but since when has anyone expected Crank and JJ to let facts get in the way of spreading their bigotry?