NASCAR fans are known for infectious enthusiasm.
But, are they actually contagious?
Seems the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives thinks so.
While Ryan Newman was winning the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, a controversy was brewing in Washington over the advice given to staff members of the Homeland Security Committee before they made visits to the NASCAR race this week and to last week’s Talladega race:
The staffers were informed they should be vaccinated against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, and influenza.
The staff members are visiting the races, according to the Committee, to “explore public health issues at events involving large gatherings, such as how law enforcement and medical personnel would respond to an act of terrorism or other emergency.”
It was not explained why attending the race would aid in that understanding, nor what could be learned by attending that couldn’t be learned with a telephone call.
Representative Robin Hayes, whose district includes the Charlotte track, sent a letter to Homeland Security Committee Chair, Rep. Bernie Thompson of Mississippi: “I have never heard of immunizations for domestic travel, and as the representative for Concord, North Carolina, I feel compelled to ask why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed for travel to my hometown. I have been to numerous NASCAR races, and the folks who attend these events certainly do not pose any health hazard to congressional staffers or anyone else.”
The Committee issued a statement indicating that the vaccinations were recommended because the staffers might visit hospitals.