Dallas Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan’s nephew believes that his uncle is dead because of “the color of his skin.”
Josephus Weeks made the accusation in an interview with CNN on Friday.
“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.”
Weeks looked visibly upset over the passing of Duncan, who is the only person to succumb to the Ebola virus in the U.S. thus far.
“Had that been another name, you know, or another color, he would probably be living today and he would have survived it,” Weeks said. “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, to know that you stand a chance if you’re white, but you don’t if you’re black.”
The Dallas Ebola victim was turned away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 25 with a 103-degree fever, Weeks said. He returned to the emergency room three days later.
The revelations came to Weeks upon receiving more than 1,400 pages of medical records for his uncle. The family made those public this week, reports the New York Times.
The Times notes that Duncan “was prescribed antibiotics and was told to take Tylenol, then he returned to the apartment where he was staying with his fiancée and three other people.”
In the CNN interview, Weeks charged that “there was a lot of things they [the Hospital] could have done that they didn’t do.”
“They could have transferred him two states over from Texas… to Atlanta. I requested that. They denied me. I requested a blood transfusion. They denied me. My mother requested a blood transfusion and serum. They denied both of us. I offered to give my blood. I offered to volunteer and help in the hospital. She’s a registered nurse [Weeks’ mother]. She offered to go to the hospital and volunteer her time, without pay. They turned us down every step of the way. There were people in Africa available to contribute blood. They turned everything down.”
Josephus Weeks noted that substantial efforts were made to bring other white victims to the states. He doesn’t believe the same effort was made for Duncan.
“If they would have given him a chance, he would have fought his way through. But they didn’t give him a chance.” Here’s the full interview.
Do you think the Dallas Ebola victim died because of racism? Share your thoughts in our comments section.