An American man who may have been directly exposed to the deadly Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived back in the United States on Friday, where he was taken for observation to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, according to a report by NBC News. The man was reportedly in the DRC providing medical assistance during the current Ebola outbreak there, an outbreak that has already become the second-worst in history.
According to CNN, the 319 fatalities in the current DRC outbreak is exceeded only by the death toll in the horrific 2014 outbreak in several West African countries, a toll which topped 11,000.
While Trump has yet to comment publicly on the arrival of the unidentified American now back in the country after possibly being exposed to the highly contagious, and often quickly fatal virus, during the 2014 outbreak, his reaction was very different when an American doctor returned to the U.S. for treatment. Trump called for President Barack Obama to resign, in a Twitter post.
“If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa, has Ebola, then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!” Trump wrote on Twitter, on October 23, 2014. Politico reporter Kyle Cheney reported the stark contrast in Trump’s reactions to the 2014 and 2018 Ebola patients on his own Twitter feed.
The Twitter post was one of 100 tweets made by Trump in which he expressed his general outrage and fearful views on the Ebola outbreak between July 31 and November 10 of 2014, according to The Trump Twitter Archive. In a precursor to his later executive order for a “travel ban” on visitors from certain Muslim-dominated countries, Trump, in 2014, called for a travel ban on incoming flights from African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.
A single Ebola carrier infects 2 others at a minimum. STOP THE FLIGHTS! NO VISAS FROM EBOLA STRICKEN COUNTRIES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2014
According to journalist Matthew Gertz, who researches and monitors Trump’s Twitter activity, Trump’s steady stream of tweets about Ebola were a crucial factor in stoking fear about the Ebola outbreak in the United States, even though medical experts agreed that the chances of an Ebola outbreak stateside were effectively zero.
“Trump’s tweets were a decisive turning point. They started this process by which the American public was becoming increasingly fearful of their own safety around Ebola,” Gertz told radio station WNYC in an interview.
The 39-year-old medical professional now at the University of Nebraska has so far shown no symptoms of Ebola, but will be held in quarantine and monitored for at least two weeks, according to a Politico report.