Liberal Outlet: Unhealthy Migrants Are Actually Good for Health


It’s been a staple of health advice for decades: If you’re feeling sick, maybe stay home and keep to yourself for a few days.

We all grasp the reasoning. Going into a crowded office while sick and sneezing or sending an ill child to a packed daycare is a good way to spread infections. Taking basic measures to keep sick people from harming others is common sense, but that sense seems to be in short supply these days.

This week, NBC News pushed a somewhat bizarre claim: Immigrants who cross continents and borders aren’t a source of disease, but are actually good for our health.

While the report was based on a study from health care professionals, it seems that politics has also entered the mix. Strangely, many of the claims made by the “experts” and repeated by NBC are contradicted by evidence … including opposite reporting from NBC itself.

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“People who oppose immigration often argue that migrants bring disease with them, and that they then become a burden to health systems in their new countries because they’re so sick,” wrote Maggie Fox for NBC News. “But that’s not true,” she continued.

“There is no evidence to show that migrants are spreading disease,” Dr. Paul Spiegel from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health told NBC.

But here’s the problem: There is actually mounting evidence that migrants do spread disease, raising the alarming possibility that liberal politics are clouding the vision of healthcare professionals.

The recent migrant caravan which trekked from Central America to the U.S. border is a prime example. If Spiegel and NBC are right, then those thousands of migrants should be fit as fiddles. They’re not.

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“Migrants who came with the caravan are suffering from respiratory infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox and other serious health issues,” Fox News reported a week ago, citing Tijuana health officials who have seen the outbreaks firsthand.

“(O)ut of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues,” Fox continued.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Spiegel and NBC News pointed to a study published by The Lancet medical journal, which claims that international migrants tend to be more healthy than residents of the host countries they enter. But there’s a very, very big asterisk.

“The exceptions are hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV,” NBC News admitted. It turns out that those last two illnesses cause more worldwide deaths than any other infectious diseases — but we’re supposed to just ignore that part.

“Tuberculosis (or TB) has been responsible for the death of more people than any other infectious disease in history; over a billion deaths in the past 200 years,” confirmed the World Economic Forum.

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NPR News, hardly a right-leaning outlet, also confirmed that tuberculosis and HIV lead the world in infectious deaths, with around 3 million fatal cases every year.

But don’t worry, because NBC and Spiegel said there is “no evidence” migrants spread those diseases … except for, you know, all the evidence saying the opposite.

Here’s the non-partisan U.S. Centers for Disease Control on the issue. “The sheer number of people who live, work, and travel between the United States and Mexico has led to … the easy transportation of infectious diseases.”

“The large movement of people across the United States and Mexico border has led to an increase in health issues, particularly infectious diseases such as tuberculosis,” the CDC continued. “Studies have identified the importance of cross-border movement in the transmission of various diseases, including HIV, measles, pertussis, rubella, rabies, hepatitis A.”

In fact, it’s well known among medical experts that HIV and AIDS first entered the United States due to, you guessed it, migration.

“The AIDS virus invaded the United States in about 1969 from Haiti, carried most likely by a single infected immigrant who set the stage for it to sweep the world in a tragic epidemic,” Reuters reported in 2007. “They found that HIV was brought to Haiti by an infected person from central Africa in about 1966.”

“The researchers think an unknown single infected Haitian immigrant arrived in a large city like Miami or New York, and the virus circulated for years — first in the U.S. population and then to other nations,” Reuters continued.

That was from a single infected Haitian immigrant. It’s absolute fact that migration plays a major role in HIV infection, as other outlets including the World Health Organization also acknowledge.

A New York Times article — again, a respected left-leaning source — admitted as much in a piece titled “Mexican Migrants Carry H.I.V. Home.”

“Migrant workers … are bringing back something else as well, H.I.V. and AIDS, which they are spreading in the rural parts of Mexico least prepared to handle the epidemic,” The Times reported. “AIDS is spreading quickly in rural Mexican states with the highest migration rates to the United States … Research has shown that migrants have more sexual partners than those who stay at home.”

“At Puebla General Hospital, Dr. Indiana Torres said 22 percent of the 1,000 or so cases of H.I.V. and AIDS that her clinic handles can be traced to migration,” The Times added.

The issue is so important that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons raised it as a major midterm election question affecting public health.

“An ever-growing caravan of thousands of migrants originating in Central America is determined to force its way into the U.S., having already breached the southern border of Mexico,” AAPS pointed out. “In the past, waves of immigrants from Europe were stopped at Ellis Island, medically examined, and quarantined long enough to be sure they were not incubating a contagious disease. Procedures are less rigorous today, and of course those who enter illegally are not screened at all.”

All of this information is readily available. NBC News must know it, as should medical professionals like Spiegel.

Yet we’re expected to believe a demonstrably false statement that “there is no evidence to show that migrants are spreading disease.” We’re supposed to ignore decades of expert-backed evidence to the contrary, because a left-leaning news outlet that supports mass immigration said so.

Is this politically motivated smoke and mirrors, ignorance or outright lying? The evidence is there for anyone to look at. We’ll let you come to your own conclusions.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.