Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who lied on his exit forms and brought Ebola to the United States, died today.
It took less than half a day for his family to come out and blame racism for Duncan’s death.
Jesse Jackson entered the story earlier this week. Today, Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, appeared on MSNBC with Ronan Farrow. Weeks clearly blamed the care that his uncle received on race.
Farrow interviewed Weeks before Duncan had even died, on Monday, but Jackson had already become part of the story by then. Farrow asked Weeks whether he believed that discrimination played a role in Duncan’s death.
“Well, yeah,” Weeks responded, “go in there and, like, you know, ostracized, you know, like we didn’t belong there.”
“The hospital? By who?” Farrow asked.
“The hospital, the staff, initially,” Weeks said. “We call, get hung up on, stay on hold for 30 minutes. Sometimes we call, get bounced around the hospital about 15 minutes get told we can’t speak. And after Reverend Jackson stepped in, and a lot of people started changing their minds and coming in to assist and, you know, more receptive to our needs.”
It’s hardly unusual for a hospital to bounce an incoming call around. It’s also hardly unusual for Jackson to suddenly start getting “results.” The threat of an expensive shakedown looms whenever he turns up. None of that speaks to racial discrimination.
Farrow asked Weeks why he believes that his uncle was turned away after his first visit to the hospital.
Weeks again played the race card: “I mean, again, he didn’t have insurance. And he’s a poor black man. And I believe they didn’t believe he deserved the care that, you know, everybody else should get. And you don’t treat people like that.”
It sounds like Jackson is coaching him, and that the family is setting up to bring a lawsuit against the hospital.
It should be pointed out that Duncan lied on his exit form from Liberia regarding whether he had been exposed to Ebola. It should also be pointed out that that probably made him an illegal alien in the United States. It should also be pointed out he failed to disclose his exposure to the virus during his first visit to the hospital.
It should also be pointed out that hospitals are legally obliged to care for patients even if the patients show no ability to pay for that care. Texas Presbyterian cared for Duncan until he died, despite the fact that it is not one of the four hospitals in America that are outfitted to care for Ebola patients.
It should also be pointed out that health care workers who come into contact with Ebola victims are disproportionately likely to come down with the disease. Duncan’s mere presence at the hospital that his family is now calling racist exposed health care workers there to the deadly virus.
Update: Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, Democrat, also thinks that Duncan died because of racism. Judge Clay Jenkins, Democrat, says that that’s a “fair question.”
Price believes that “black hole” is a racist term. What’s Jenkins’ excuse?