Liberians following the arrival of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan to the United States and his subsequent death tell the nation’s largest newspaper that they fully expected him to die in America because he was Liberian, comparing his death to the recovery of multiple American Ebola patients air-lifted back into the country.
In an article published by the Liberian Observer simply titled “We Knew Duncan Would Die”– and adorned with Duncan’s photo next to Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, both American survivors of Ebola– various individuals questioned in peanut gallery format suggested to the newspaper that they believed Duncan did not receive the full care possible for the United States to provide. One man, described only as “a money changer on Benson Street” in Monrovia, asked the reporter to “consider [Duncan’s] situation, adding, “There are at least four Americans who also got the virus, and why are they not dead?”
Another anonymous commenter in the article noted that Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman with NBC News who contracted the disease, received blood from Dr. Brantly in attempts to help him recover. “Why Duncan did not receive such an important gift that could have saved his life?” asked the student. Noting the lack of such aid for Duncan, one commenter argued that the United States “pretended they were doing their best for him,” and that “They knew that the [experimental] drug [provided to Duncan] would not have saved Duncan’s life.
The Liberian Observer has published other reports condemning the United States with regard to the Ebola virus. Most notably, the newspaper published an article suggesting that the United States was directly responsible for creating and disseminating the Ebola virus, as well as HIV, throughout Africa. The article did not attempt to provide concrete proof of such a claim.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirmed Duncan’s death on Wednesday, after reports the evening before suggested his condition had worsened in previous days. Some on the left in the United States have suggested similar theories to those posed by the subjects in the Observer piece, particularly after the arrival of Rev. Jesse Jackson on the scene, reportedly at the behest of Duncan’s family. Jackson, who traveled to Texas before Duncan died, insisted that “we know there is different treatment among blacks in the country” in response to whether he believed Duncan was receiving adequate care, and demanded that Americans treat Duncan “as a patient with all the human rights deserved, not as a criminal.”