Thomas Eric Duncan aka Patient Zero traveled to the United States out of desperation. He knew that he had been exposed to Ebola, and knew that he could not get treatment where he lived in Liberia. He had seen a friend turned away from three hospitals, and then die of the disease.
So according to his former boss, he made the trip to the United States to obtain treatment. Monrovia (Liberia) Daily Observer reports.
About Duncan being aware of his medical condition before he left Liberia, his former boss, Mr. Henry Brunson, 60, manager of SafeWay Cargo, a licensed agent of FedEx, agreed that Duncan knew that he was infected with the virus, having directly participated in efforts to help save the life of his landlord’s daughter, who was pregnant. Mr. Brunson said Duncan was his “personal chauffeur” before he (Duncan) just “walked out” on September 4, and never saw nor heard from him again until it was reported that he had been diagnosed with the Ebola virus in the US. He stated that while he is sorry that Duncan might have passed the virus to others over the last few days, he, however, said he is glad that Duncan is in the US where he would get the best treatment to survive. “If he were in Liberia, he was going to surely die,” Mr. Brunson added sadly.
Having come to the United States, lying about and concealing his condition along the way, Duncan has exposed his own family, residents in their apartment complex, kids in several Dallas schools, and who knows how many other people to the deadly Ebola virus.
How many other carriers are going to make the same choice — if not to come to the U.S., to go to Europe, to Canada, Japan, or somewhere else where they believe that they will get treatment? As long as flights are running, it remains a possibility — or probability.
They will be traveling without symptoms, and will therefore be undetectable at airports, but they will know that they have been exposed, as Duncan knew. They will be able to use credit cards, if they have them, to pay for the flights whether they actually have the cash on hand or not. Desperation will drive the calculation that it’s worth running up some debt if it means the difference between life and death. Duncan has already shown that for some, the possibility of exposing others — even family members, but mostly total strangers — is not their first or even second concern.