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Rev. Jesse Jackson Accuses Texas Hospital of Racism Following The Death of US Ebola Victim

 

 

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. has joined the relatives of the first person to die of Ebola in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan to denounce the treatment the deceased and his family had received from Texas Hospital officials.

The family claimed that Duncan had been cremated without their knowledge or permission and given substandard care because he was African.

Mr. Jackson said the other Ebola victims in the United States “came back to Atlanta and Nebraska, got quick treatment and early treatment, and their lives have been spared.”

Nowai Korkoya, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Josephus Weeks

Nowai Korkoya, mother of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, center, walks with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, and Josephus Weeks, Duncan’s nephew

“That did not happen with Eric Duncan,” he said. “And the critical hours, critical days, were missed.”

Also adding his voice to the criticism, Josephus Weeks, a nephew of Thomas Eric Duncan, said his uncle had been “handled poorly, unfairly, and an injustice was done.”

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mr. Weeks said the Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian, had not immediately informed them that Mr. Duncan had died and had led them to believe that he was still alive.

Mr. Weeks had earlier on Friday released Mr. Duncan’s medical records to The Associated Press. Those documents raised new questions about why the hospital that treated him had sent him home after his first visit to its emergency room on Sept. 25. The medical records showed that during that first visit, his temperature had peaked at 103 degrees and he had reported severe pain, rating it an eight on a scale of 1 to 10.

The details contradicted the hospital’s initial description of Mr. Duncan’s condition. It had said that he had a temperature of 100.1 and that his symptoms “were not severe at the time he first visited the hospital emergency department.”

On Friday, Mr. Weeks released Mr. Duncan’s medical records to The Associated Press. Those documents raised new questions about why the hospital that treated him had sent him home after his first visit to its emergency room on Sept. 25. The medical records showed that during that first visit, his temperature had peaked at 103 degrees and he had reported severe pain, rating it an eight on a scale of 1 to 10.

Officials have said that Dr. David L. Lakey, the commissioner of the state health services department, recommended cremation to the family and that the family agreed. On Saturday, a spokeswoman for the agency reiterated that the family had agreed to cremation, saying that officials had an oral and written agreement with Mr. Duncan’s next of kin. She declined to identify that person for privacy reasons.

The 42 year-old Duncan, who is originally from Liberia died on Wednesday at the Dallas hospital where he had been found to have Ebola on Sept. 30.

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