Yesterday afternoon I returned from a two week stay with a friend in Maryland ,USA. I had been assisting her with another downsizing move. I spend a lot of time and money taking care of my health and I don’t want to jeopotize my health by unnecessary actions. My biggest concern in takin the trip was whether or not I would be allowed to have a pat down instead of going through a scanner that I was told gives you the equivalent radiation dose of 3 times that of an MRI. If I needed an MRi to assist me in a medical diagnosis I would have one ; but I see no reason to subject myself to harm at the whim of a security policy I feel is overkill. There are very few countries in the world who acutually use this technology. The only other country that I encountered was Holland at Amsterdam Airport. There , I requested a pat down and was politely and professionally given one.
I know a medical doctor works for the FDA . He also requests a pat down. When they tell him that the FDA says it is safe , he replies,”I work for the FDA. In a converstion with him he told me ,for the most part , the FDA does a fairly good job of protecting the public ; but a lot of politics and big business influence the agencies work.
In the line up I was a bit apprenhensive as to whether I would get my pat down or not , as their was a rumor that the new president had given the border guard permission to refuse a pat down. Previously, a request for a pat down cold not be refused.
I arrived at the conveyor belt ,but instead of throwing my luguage on the belt I went up and asked for a pat down. I was told to put my luguage on the belt and proceed through. In previous times , Ihad to wait perhaps ten minutes of so before someone could be found to pat me down. This time a wonderful man by the name of ,”Garcia” approached me and matter of fact told me about the procedure and then did the procedure in a professional manner without attitude. the worst type are the young white dudes who overcompensate for their insecurity. I was very impressed with Mr. Garcia. I later told him that I was not trying to butter him up ,but he had just given me as a global traveler one of the best pat downs that I ever had.
One more observation. I was the only one who was having a pat down while I was there.