Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes interviewed Lou Dobbs in a segment broadcast on Sunday May 6, 2007. She says Christine Romans of Lou Dobbs reported 7,000 cases of leprosy in the last 3 years v. 7,000 cases in the last 30 years.
Note that there is a stock and flow issue here. Does 7,000 mean a flow, i.e. new cases, or does it mean 7,000 people have it at a point in time, a stock? Different people might read the same document or hear of it, and interpret 7,000 cases to mean 7,000 new cases as a flow or there exist 7,000 cases. Even the authors of a document might be careless in explaining this issue, because “its obvious” to them what they meant. Nurses might tell us that’s how doctors always write.
We first review a media watch dog group that has several references on this issue. That group Colorado Media Matters states
according to a New York Times report from February 18, 2003, “While there were some 900 recorded cases in the United States 40 years ago, today more than 7,000 people have leprosy, or Hansen’s disease, as it is now called.”
But, in the past six years, Dr. Levis and his colleagues have proved that a handful of his patients — including a 73-year-old man from Queens who had never been out of the country and an elderly Jewish man from Westchester — have contracted leprosy here.
As a result, the disease is now officially endemic to the Northeastern United States for the first time ever. (Cases of leprosy transmission in the Southeast date as far back as the turn of the 19th century.) And leprosy experts think that even some foreign-born people with the infection may have acquired it in immigrant communities here.
Dr. Levis has tried to increase other physicians’ awareness of the disease through mailings, telephone calls and lectures.
As the entire NYT piece shows, its immigration that has caused this disease to spread to Americans in the North East for the first time ever. In fact, Dr. Levis in New York had to teach other doctors in the the US to look out for this disease, because these other doctors didn’t know it existed in America. The reason is that the disease is caused in the US by legal and illegal immigration since the 1965 Immigration Act. The only error that Lou Dobbs and others may have made is to attribute this to recent illegal immigration instead of to the entire path of legal and illegal immigration since Ted Kennedy told us the 1965 Immigration Act wouldn’t change America and wouldn’t harm Americans at all. (Something he tells all his dates.)
Thus the stock 40 years prior to 2003, i.e. in 1963 was 900. The stock in 2003 was 7,000. Colorado Media Matters references reports consistent with this and that state the flow of new cases is about 200 to 250 per year, although it peaked in the 1980’s. If we take 1963 to 2003, at 200 per year, we get 8,000 new cases. Some people die in 40 years, so 200 to 250 new cases per year starting from 900 could leave 7,000 outstanding.
So what happened to cause this? Legal immigration. The 1965 Immigration Act created massive legal immigration. Illegal immigration also increased in that period. Unlike Eisenhower, who removed the illegals with no problem, the US has amnestied them since and gotten more. In 1963 after 40 years of immigration restriction, the stock of cases was 900. Note this wouldn’t be the flow in 1963, since new cases per year don’t get that high even today.
So it was legal immigration that caused the rise of leprosy. With no immigration, the stock of cases was only 900. It was legal immigration that changed this, along with illegal immigration.
What 60 Minutes has helped us learn from this is that we must halt all legal immigration, not just send the illegals home to stop disease coming here. This is a valuable contribution by 60 Minutes, Colorado Media Matters, Lou Dobbs and others who have written on this such as Lonewacko, WND, etc.
More from Colorado Media Matters
Further, HHS’s Hansen’s disease “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage states that there are a total of “approximately 6,500″ registered cases in the United States and that 200-250 new cases [are] reported to the registry annually” [emphasis added]:
In the United States there are approximately 6,500 cases on the registry which includes all cases reported since the registry began and still living. The number of cases with active disease and requiring drug treatment is approximately 600. There are 200-250 new cases reported to the registry annually with about 175 of these being new cases diagnosed for the first time.
Similarly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a June 16, 2006, report, “Summary of Notifiable Diseases — United States, 2004,” that “[t]he number of reported cases of Hansen disease (HD) in the United States peaked at 361 in 1985 and has declined since 1988.”
This data all confirms that 40 years of legal immigration, and illegal, produced a rise in the stock of cases from 900 in 1963 to 7,000 in 2003. This represents 200 up to 361 new cases per year, and some people died, some illegals perhaps left, and we are left with 7,000 in 2003. Note this is reported cases in these databases. Actual numbers are higher.
The 60 Minutes website Transcript has the following:
“Lou Dobbs, “Advocacy” Journalist?
Lesley Stahl Interviews The Outspoken CNN Anchor On “60 Minutes””
One of the issues he tackles relentlessly is illegal immigration. And on that, his critics say, his advocacy can get in the way of the facts.
Following a report on illegal immigrants carrying diseases into the U.S., one of the correspondents on his show, Christine Romans, told Dobbs that there have been 7,000 cases of leprosy in the U.S. in the past three years.
60 Minutes checked that and found a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying that 7,000 is the number of leprosy cases over the last 30 years, not the past three. The report also says that nobody knows how many of those cases involve illegal immigrants.
“We went to try and check that number, 7,000. We can’t…,” Stahl says.
“Well, I can tell you this. If we reported it, it’s a fact,” Dobbs replies.
“You can’t tell me that. You did report it,” Stahl says.
“I just did,” Dobbs says.
“How can you guarantee that to me?” Stahl asks.
Says Dobbs, “Because I’m the managing editor. And that’s the way we do business. We don’t make up numbers, Lesley.”
“That’s a strange attitude for a reporter to have, ‘I don’t need anymore facts. I know what the truth is,'” says Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Like Colorado Media Matters and others, 60 Minutes misses the point that their own research shows its legal immigration from the 1965 Immigration Act along with illegal immigration that has caused the rise in the stock of leprosy cases from going from 900 in 1963 to 7,000 in 2003.
Presumably, 60 Minutes found the Colorado Media Matters webpage and used that in researching their piece? If so, they might note that on their webpage. CMM goes after several people in the same way as 60 Minutes did Lou Dobbs. Did 60 Minutes copy this CMM tactic, but without disclosing CMM as their source or idea for that part of the segment?
CMM goes after Frosty Wooldridge, and World Net Daily, and talk radio 630 KHOW-AM’s The Peter Boyles Show. In each case, CMM harps on the issue of illegal immigration. But as the NYT piece shows, its legal and illegal immigration since the 1965 Immigration Act that are to blame. Ted Kennedy lied about its harmful impact then just as he lies about the disease from new legal immigrants today, as well as illegals. We must halt legal immigration to zero to stop disease coming in from immigration. That is a tautology, which means its true. (Some liberals may not be able to handle the difference between a true tautology about the need to stop legal immigration and bigotry. Sweden and Finland seem to have that problem in 2 recent cases.)
It is, perhaps, unfair to blame any one person for this confusion in stock and flow, since none of those involved explicitly went into this issue quite in these terms, although CMM gets close in providing the information. The term cases itself is not telling you if its new cases per year or the stock of cases, so its easy for people not to know what is meant. In addition, the distinction of stock and flow may be emphasized more in the economics literature than in the disease demography literature. Macroeconomics in particular, emphasizes the distinction between a flow variable like GDP or income and a stock variable like wealth.
CMM still failed to reach the complete and correct answer, that legal immigration from the 1965 Immigration Act is to blame along with illegal immigration. In 1963 after 40 years of immigration restriction we had 900 cases. In 2003 after 40 years of Kennedy’s 1965 legal Immigration Act we had over 7,000 cases. As the NYT piece showed, this came from legal immigration and illegal immigration. As the NYT piece stated, “the disease is now officially endemic to the Northeastern United States for the first time ever”. Thus the conclusion is that we must stop all legal immigration and send all illegals home to stop the inflow of disease.
==Appendix Some webpages consulted in researching this piece. Some duplicates.
Of particular interest is the following which has some perspective on the whole segment.
search leprosy 7000
Picks up a copy of a WND article
These search pick up the name John Levis, lets try this search on google:
leprosy 7000 “John Levis”
Results 1 – 27 of 27 for leprosy 7000 “John Levis”.
Media Matters tries to debunk the 7000 figure in the last 3 years:
Copy of New York Times piece from 2003
“Lou Dobbs, “Advocacy” Journalist?
Lesley Stahl Interviews The Outspoken CNN Anchor On “60 Minutes””
Results 1 – 100 of about 91,300 for leprosy 7000.
leprosy 7000 “3 years”
Results 1 – 100 of about 16,100 for leprosy 7000 “3 years“.
“As per Fox news this morning there are 7000 new cases of lepersy in the US , mainly among immigrants ,” from usa today Banned member.
which references Madeleine Pelner Cosman:
Although last, this final reference is worth reading.