A statement released by the family of the first person to be diagnosed and die of the Ebola virus in the United States called it “suspicious” that all white patients treated in America survived the illness while the one black patient died.
Josephus Weeks, nephew of the deceased Thomas Eric Duncan, made the racially charged accusation on Thursday while acting as spokesman for Duncan’s broader family.
“Eric Duncan was treated unfairly,” the statement read. “Eric walked into the hospital, the other patients were carried in after an 18 hour flight. It is suspicious to us that all the white patients survived and this one black patient passed away.”
“It took eight days to get him medicine,” Weeks continued. “He didn’t begin treatment in Africa, he began treatment here, but he wasn’t given a chance.”
Duncan contracted the illness in his native Liberia, then flew to Dallas and began exhibiting symptoms several days later. He was initially given antibiotics and sent home from the hospital, despite, according to his relatives, informing medical professionals of his travel history. He was diagnosed with Ebola and quarantined after his condition worsened. Unlike other patients, he was not given experimental antiviral drugs until one day before his death, which doctors say was when the drugs became available.