Josephus Weeks, Thomas Eric Duncan's nephew speaks
The nephew of Ebola sufferer Thomas Eric Duncan, Josephus Weeks, was interviewed by MSNBC's Ronan Farrow. He had some striking things to say about the way the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian treated the family.
"We were being mistreated," Josephus Weeks said. "We were again being stigmatized. We go in there we being like you know ostracized. Like we didn't belong there. ... by the hospital staff. We call. We get the phone hang up on. We stay on hold for 30 minutes. Sometimes we call we get bounced around the hospital about fifteen minutes and then get told we can't speak to Eric. But after Reverend Jackson stepped in and he cried out for help for us, then a lot of people started changing their mindset. And coming in to assist and being more receptive to our needs."
Ronan Farrow then asked why he believed his uncle was turned away from the hospital. Josephus Weeks could not be clearer.
"Again, he did not have insurance," Josephus Weeks said. "And he is a poor Black man. He had a very deep accent coming from West Africa. I believe they didn't believe he deserved the care that everyone else should get. And you don't treat people like that."
Ronan then asked Reverend Jesse Jackson if he thought it was about discrimination against immigrants or poor people.
"There's a fact of anti immigrant, anti refugee, anti Black. It's very real in our country," Said Jesse Jackson. "All we really know is that there was one treatment for the Americans at Emory, one treatment for the American in Nebraska, one treatment for Eric in Dallas. We know that in those cases where there were symptoms they got immediate relief. He had the symptom, came to the hospital and was turned away. He came back and laid there for three days really on oxygen and drip in bed sleeping to death until we began to protest. And now they've begun to make moves to make amends. And that's a good thing. But it did take a cry out from the public."
Relief came too late for Thomas Eric Duncan. He died this morning. This should be a wake up call for the fairness of our healthcare system even in the times of Obamacare. Ronan Farrow did a great job getting to the story in the minds of many but not spoken. Tamron Hall earlier corrected the false narrative of Kate Snow who attempted to absolve the hospital by omission.