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Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Will WND Get Its Facts Right on Leprosy?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The new issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine has the theme, "The New Plagues," in which "self-destructive 'alternative lifestyles'" and "out-of-control immigration" are blamed for "long-'vanquished' illnesses [that] are once again ravaging the U.S., puzzling scientists and terrifying millions of victims and their loved ones." Will WND get its facts straight on the issue?

We suspect not. Among the topics covered:

Leprosy, the contagious skin disease evoking thoughts of biblical and medieval times, is now making its mark in the United States, and many believe the influx of illegal aliens is the main factor.

As we detailed, in 2005 WND repeated the false claim -- first made by Madeleine Cosman in an anti-immigrant screed masquerading as a "scientific" article in the conservative Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons -- that more than 7,000 cases of leprosy were reported in the United States in "the previous three years"; in fact, that number is for the past 30 years. WND rehashed the claim in another 2005 article. Given that WND has never bothered to correct that information, it's likely that it has seeped into Whistleblower as well.

The magazine also lists the following article:

 "Chicken-plant workers test 'positive' for TB" – revealing that while 212 out of 765 processing employees were infected, the company said HIV-privacy laws prohibit screening

This is apparently a rehash of a November 2007 WND article. Despite its suggestion that illegal immigrants are responsible for the outbreak -- as we noted wen David Horowitz's Discover the Networks used this article to make that claim -- buried far down is the note that, according to a spokesman for the plant, "despite the large number of foreign-born Hispanic employees working at the Decatur facility, all have been verified as legally working in the U.S."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 1:00 AM EST

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