Glenn Thrush lies about Lou Dobbs (leprosy; possible presidential run)

Speaking with reporters earlier today, Lou Dobbs mentioned as an aside that he was considering a presidential run. Over to low-level establishment hack Glenn Thrush of the Politico who simply reads what's on the card he's been handed (

Dobbs has become a prime target of Hispanic groups for his fire-breathing pronouncements about illegal immigration - including a discredited claim that Mexicans were bringing leprosy across the border.

First, simply supporting enforcement of our immigration laws isn't "fire-breathing". More importantly, Thrush is lying about the circumstances of the leprosy issue. Mexicans and others are indeed bringing leprosy and other diseases across the border, and that's especially true of illegal aliens since they obviously aren't given health screenings. It's absurd that anyone would claim that what's happening isn't happening, but that's what you get from low-grade pseudo-journalists like Thrush. See, for just one example, the report at [1].

As for the background, one of Dobbs' reporters made a factually-incorrect claim about the number of leprosy cases, and far-left illegal immigration supporters made it one of their few cause celebres against him. On 60 Minutes, Leslie Stahl asked him about the report and he said it was accurate, based on the fact that he'd broadcast it and he assumed it had been fact-checked. Then, under more pressure, he broadcast a correction. It's worth noting that that's one of the few fact-based arguments his opponents have been able to use against him.

[1] See, for instance, 2005's "Leprosy in America: new cause for concern" by Ben Whitford which was published by Columbia University's student news service. It's archived here and here; the second has a New York Times article that mentions Brazil, India and the Caribbean as areas where those who were determined to be infected in the U.S. originated. From the Columbia U. article:

A new case of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is diagnosed somewhere in the world every 60 seconds, but in the United States outbreaks remain rare. Only about 130 new cases are discovered each year, mostly among immigrants from areas such as Mexico, India or the Caribbean, where the disease is more widespread.

Over 100 cases were found in immigrants last year, more than double the number in 2000, and, while the number of cases is still comparatively small, some researchers believe the trend could lead to leprosy spreading to the U.S.-born population.

“It’s creeping into the U.S.,” said Dr. William Levis, head of the New York Hansen’s Disease Clinic. “This is a real phenomenon. It’s a public health threat. New York is endemic now, and nobody’s noticed.”

Tracking leprosy among immigrants can be difficult, but leprosy is already endemic in Texas, and numbers are rising in New York and California--all states with high immigrant populations. Dr. Levis said he believes America could be on the brink of an epidemic similar to those that swept Brazil and led to the country becoming a global leprosy hotspot.

“We just don’t know when these epidemics are going to occur,” he said. “But we’re on the cusp of it here, because we’re starting to see endemic cases that we didn’t see 25 years ago.”