Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola inside the U.S., died on Wednesday, and as questions surrounded his treatment (or lack thereof), a family member implied that racism and callous disregard for the poor were responsible for Duncan’s death.
On CNN’s “OutFront” Saturday morning, Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks speculated that race played a role in the Texas hospital’s decision to release his uncle while the man had a raging fever.
“He’s the only person that has died from Ebola here in America,” Weeks said. “He’s a black man. He’s poor, didn’t have insurance.”
Another American who contracted the Ebola virus, the white Dr. Kent Brantly, survived with the help of dramatic medical intervention.
Weeks noted the disparity.
“Had [Duncan’s] been another name, you know, or another color, he would probably be living today and he would have survived it,” Weeks told CNN. “And that’s what’s really hurting me the most is because they treated him the way they did because of the color of his skin, and that’s very upsetting and disturbing, and know that you stand a chance if you’re white, but you don’t if you’re black.”
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