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October 9th, 2014
09:44 PM ET

Ebola's patient family: Thomas Eric Duncan "treated unfairly"

The family of the first man to die of Ebola in the U.S. is speaking out, saying Thomas Eric Duncan's "was treated unfairly."

In an exclusive statement to OutFront, Josephus Weeks, Duncan's nephew, says:

"Eric Duncan was treated unfairly. 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 8 days to get him medicine. He didn't begin treatment in Africa, he began treatment here, but he wasn't given a chance.

We need all the help we can get, no matter how small it is. All would be accepted and would be highly appreciated."

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which treated Thomas Eric Duncan, also put out a statement saying, in part:

"Mr. Duncan’s physicians treated him with the most appropriate and available medical interventions, including the investigative antiviral drug Brincidofovir. Mr. Duncan was the first Ebola patient to receive this drug.

Mr. Duncan did not receive the same type of serum transfusion as the patient in Nebraska because his blood type was not compatible with the serum donors.

A team of more than 50 people cared for him in a professional and compassionate manner.

Our care team provided Mr. Duncan with the same high level of attention and care that would be given any patient, regardless of nationality or ability to pay for care. We have a long history of treating a multicultural community in this area."

Did race play a factor in Duncan's treatment? Ed Lavandera is OutFront.

Also weighing in:CNN's Chief Medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and Dr. Ivan Walks, The Former District Of Columbia Chief Medical Officer.


Filed under: Ebola • Health • News
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Nico

    This family is so disgusting!!! Get out of the United States !!! We do not want you here> That Thomas Duncan had infected so many people here . He is a liar!!! He knew very well he was with someone who had this deadly ebola virus while he was in w Africa and he still insisted on coming into the united states. I wish he were alive so he will be persecuted!!!! LIARS!!!! GET OUT OF THE U.S. WEST AFRICAN PEOPLE WITH EBOLA!!! FULL OF DISEASES AND WE MAY ALL JUST GET INFECTED WITH YOUR DISEASES!!!

    October 19, 2014 at 2:08 am | Reply
  2. Jim

    This family is SO digusting! They're here, comfortably in OUR country, taking advantage of so much we have built up here. Now we have a couple of nurses who take care of this poor man and THEY risked their lives for him, but now have ebola, themselves. Truly DISGUSTING people to play the race card, the blame card, whatever. On the one hand, it's a terrible loss for them, but on the other hand, to lash out like this, then just GO HOME!

    October 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Nico

      JIM, I AM ALSO VERY MAD AT THIS FAMILY. PLEASE READ MY POST. THOMAS DUNCAN WAS WITH A PERSON WITH EBOLA IN W AFRICA AND HE STILL INSISTED ON COMING TO HE U.S. STUPID IDIOT LIAR!!!!

      IMAGINE, THIS STUPID FAMILY WANTS TO SUE THE HOSPITAL .WOW!! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST BE THE ONE TO SUE THIS FAMILY FOR BRINGING THIS DEALDY VIRUS INTO THIS COUNTRY.

      October 19, 2014 at 2:16 am | Reply
  3. Terrence Green

    Offensive on so many levels. First and foremost we did not owe mr duncan anything he ran over here from his country long for help exposing the citizens here. As far as I am concern get his body get his family and they can go home where I'm sure he owed have gotten much better treatment. Thats the reason he lied to get here and infect just right. Jesse Jackson that clown is always looking for a television camera old has beens looking for attention no matter how shameless.

    October 18, 2014 at 12:52 am | Reply
  4. NICO

    FAMILY OF EBOLA PATIENT THOMAS DUNCAN SHOULD NOT BE ANGRY OVER HIS DEATH!! WE , THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD BE ANGRY WITH THOMAS DUNCAN FOR SPREADING HIS DISEASE OVER HERE!!! Don't you get that!!!!

    HE KNEW THAT HE WAS WITH SOMEONE WHO HAD EBOLA VIRUS WHEN HE WAS IN WEST AFRICA BUT HE STILL INSISTED ON COIMING TO THE UNITED STATES. HE SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR THIS!!! THE LIBERIAN PRESIDENT WAS RIGHT WHEN SHE SAID HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR LYING!!!

    Just too bad he is dead and not face his punishment. INNOCENT AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE BEING CONTAMINATED WITH THIS DEADLY EBOLA VIRUS COMING FROM THE PEOPLE IN LIBERIA AND ALL OVER WEST AFRICA!!! I do not want to go neat someone from west Africa!!!EBOLA!!!

    October 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  5. NICO

    THOMAS DUNCAN SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE INTO THEUNITED STATES . HE KNEW HE WAS WITH AN EBOLA PERSON IN AFRICA BEFORE HE CAME TO THE U.S. BUT INSPITE OF THAT, HE STILL ENTERED THE U.S.
    NOW, WHAT DID HE DO???!!! HE SPREAD HIS EBOLA VIRUS HERE INSIDE THE U.S.
    PEOPLE FROM LIBERIA AND ALL OF WEST AFRICA , SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES. ALL FLIGHTS GOING TO WEST AFRICA AND COMING FROM WEST AFRICA SHOULD BE STOPPED !!!!

    Hey, AFRICAN PEOPLE WITH EBOLA VIRUS, PLEASE GO TO IRAQ INSTEAD AND JOIN ISIS AND SPREAD YOUR EBOLA VIRUS THERE INSTEAD TO ISIS. THIS WAY, IT WILL SABE THE TAXPAYERS FROM THE AIRSTRIKES!!!

    IF I SEE AN AFRICAN FROM WEST AFRICA, I AM SO SCARED TO GO NEAR THEM BECAUSE OF THE EBOLA VIRUS!!! IT IS BEING SPREAD ALL OVER THE U.S.

    October 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  6. YeahOkay

    I am sorry for his families death, no one deserves to die. However, I do not believe the hospital treated him unfairly on purpose. We were not prepared for this outbreak. It has never been in the states until HE brought it here. HE was the one who lied at the airport knowing he had been in contact with an Ebola patient. They had many people risking their lives to help him live. This lawsuit it ridiculous. If anyone was to get punished for this it should have been him, himself.

    October 15, 2014 at 9:14 am | Reply
  7. mike johnson

    These people are ungrateful parasites. Duncan clearly acted and lied to rip a last slim chance off US taxpayers at billable and unknown costs of millions, f– everybody else or their lives. I would not be surprised to find out that 19 yo pregnant landlord's daughter was carrying his child as the reason for his "heroics".

    I am tired of such ingrates and their race cards. If they don't like it, go back to Liberia or anywhere else. We really won't need more unskilled labor in 2020, much less pot stirring, disease spreading WMD.

    October 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  8. medi-weight loss

    Good way of telling, and pleasant piece of writing to obtain facts concerning my presentation subject,
    which i am going to present in school.

    October 11, 2014 at 8:36 am | Reply
  9. GirlCharlie

    US Citizens are constantly misdiagnosed and die, daily. I didn't know a person with Ebola had it written all over their face when entering a hospital's ER. The news keeps guilting the Dallas Hospital and government officials into apologizing since the day Mr. Duncan was admitted to the hospital! For what, because the Dallas hospital physicians didn’t recognize a walk in patient with Ebola when this has never happened before in the history of America? Should physicians start assuming all African's who walk into an ER have Ebola, especially if these people are black?
    Keep in mind, the other patients who contracted Ebola while in Liberia and survived were flown to hospitals equipped to deal with Ebola, in the USA “after” contacting the CDC, which allowed the CDC the ability to work one on one with hospitals infectious disease specialist and the hospital’s chief medical officer.
    If I was bit by a black mamba and walked into a hospital and told them, “I don’t know what bit me!” my chances of surviving the bite would be slim. Why didn’t Mr. Duncan say, “I’m afraid that I contracted Ebola, since I traveled from Liberia and was in direct contact with several people who has this virus? I need for someone to call the chief medical officer and have him call the CDC right now!” If Mr. Duncan had handled his situation this way, he probably would have been medivacked to Emory hospital within the hour.
    In my opinion, Mr. Duncan's entire family got a pretty sweet deal the most US citizen's NEVER get. Most Americans (including most Black Americans) not only have to grieve the loss of a loved one, after the hospital’s negligence or because their loved one was misdiagnosed, but we are stuck paying an astronomical hospital bill. I AM SO TIRED OF THE RACE CARD!!! I’m white and cannot afford medications or medical procedures! I have never been given special treatment because of my race! I WISH!
    I would love to be a fly on a wall listening to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton talk to people. I can only imagine how ridiculous theses racist idiots sound.

    October 11, 2014 at 5:26 am | Reply
  10. Julie Stewart

    I am so very sorry for this families loss. While tragic, we have learned we are not prepared for an outbreak of his caliber. We MUST close our borders from West Africa and South America. We cannot be complacent on this issue. Just like the riots in Missouri that came from Americans who felt they could no longer trust authorities, riots will break out if Ebola continues to come to the United States.

    October 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  11. Dana Barron

    Please ask your guest's two simple questions,
    1.) How many Americans have died from the Ebola virus in the last 10 years?
    2.) How many Americans have died from Gunshot wounds in the last 10 hours?

    Now, where do you think the media should be focusing their efforts to save American lives?

    October 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  12. Name julie mills

    Mr Duncan's families loss while sad should still be put in perspective. The cost for holding out a hand to help him will be supported the U.S. Citizens. His nephew should be ashamed suggesting it is racial , honestly. There is no malice. I am tired of the reporting being unbalanced here. I think maybe they should return to their home country and recognize they are not citizens. End of story.

    October 10, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  13. Jason

    I wonder if Dr. Sanjay Gupta ever thinks, "Why am I surrounded by idiots and why are they paid more than me?" Case-in-point: Erin Burnett, who is about as much an empty shell as one could throw up on TV, questions why the Texas hospital did not scour Africa for a treatment option (serum) for Duncan, i.e. "[t]here are people in Africa who have survived. Obviously somebody there could have been a match. Could there possibly have been some sort of an effort here?" This is why Nickelodeon remains the most popular channel in my house. CNN would be better off running Bourdain's show 24/7. He doesn't make a fool of himself and the show is intelligent.

    October 10, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply
  14. offthelows

    This storyline is so offensive to the doctors, nurses and other hospital workers who risked their lives treating this man, and unfortunately all of this is looking like the machinations of a wrongful death lawsuit and a Jesse Jackson shakedown. Duncan wasn't truthful at the Liberian airport, albeit potentially exposing himself through a noble act, and also didn't share that detail at the hospital. In the real world, Ebola isn't exactly a situation U.S. hospitals are accustom to treating, so unless that starts changing, the patient has to be detailed and even suggest that's a possibility.

    October 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • GirlCharlie

      I completely agree!!

      October 11, 2014 at 5:27 am | Reply

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