S.C. students accept attorney’s apology, await TB test results
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) ” South Carolina college students accepted an apology Friday from a man who may have exposed them to a dangerous strain of tuberculosis while on a trans-Atlantic flight.
But several University of South Carolina Aiken students said they are worried about the future and already are being treated differently by others.
Twenty-six students and two faculty members from the school were aboard the flight from Atlanta to Paris on May 12 with Andrew Speaker, 31, who has become the first infected person quarantined by the U.S. government since 1963. The students were part of a study abroad program with the school’s business department.
Jason Vik, a 21-year-old business student, said he felt like an outcast when he showed up for a television interview Thursday.
“The makeup ladies were so scared of us after we told them we weren’t contagious,” he said. “And they wore masks when they put on our makeup. There are lot of people that are just afraid of us. It’s ridiculous and ignorant.”
Speaker apologized Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and said he didn’t want any one of his fellow passengers to be in the “state of constant fear and anxiety and exhaustion” he has been through the past week.
Vik and fellow passenger Laney Wiggins, 21, were awaiting results of their skin tests, expected Friday. Other students also have been tested, according to school officials.
Two other passengers from Kentucky also were being tested, according to state health officials.
“I am glad to see that he’s taking responsibility for some of this,” Wiggins said of Speaker’s apology. “It makes me feel a little better about the situation.”
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