Family of Thomas Eric Duncan says his death from Ebola is ‘racially motivated’

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The family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola on U.S. soil, joined the Rev. Jesse Jackson at his Rainbow Push headquarters to call foul on the treatment Mr. Duncan received.

They say the treatment Duncan received was at best 'incompetent' and at worst 'racially motivated.'

Duncan passed away last week, but his mom and nephew spoke out at Rainbow Push's weekly gathering today.

The family is asking why Duncan wasn't moved to Emory University Hospital, where Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Nancy Writebol received life saving treatment for Ebola.

Duncan's nephew now wants all of his uncle's medical records, where he will have them reviewed by independent doctors and contagious disease experts.

However, doctors at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan was treated, say their staff was 'well-equipped' to handle his case.

The whole ordeal has left Duncan's mother heartbroken.

Family members say they are considering some form of legal action against the hospital where Duncan received treatment.


  • Dee Smith

    Well, to be honest, Mr. Duncan has not gotten the same level of treatment as the other Americans who have been infected with Ebola. He was given an anti-viral Ebola drug well after he was in critical condition, but also, no attempt was made to give him a blood transfusion. It seems like some kind of implicit racism.

    • IRowe

      Let’s be honest. The blood transfusion was not given because the blood types did not match, the experimental drug was given the very day the FDA said okay you can use it. Now when it comes to sending him home the first time, I believe that had nothing to do with race or no insurance. Lets face it a CT scan cost more then a night in the hospital. Sending him home had more to do with poor hospital communication. I understand that the girlfriend told the nurse that he had been in Africa, I understand that but why didn’t they tell the doctor when he was in the room, why only the nurse. Hell if I thought for one second that it was a possibility I would scream it out to everyone who walked in the room. The hospital was not ready for this. Now if the family said we want to sue because the lack of knowledge and the hospital not responding the correct way the first time he came in okay I might understand that. But playing the race card just ticks me off.

    • MPH

      Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe this gentleman’s blood type didn’t match and that is why he couldn’t get a blood transfusion! I think anyone who thinks our society is so cruel that we would let some one die because of race really should have their head examine. Shame on you.

  • Joy Beum

    The family is heartbroken over the death of their loved one and Jesse Jackson is USING them to further his political/racial agenda. How low can you go????????????????

  • ddmarie

    Mr. Duncan was uninsured and from another country. I am sure the hospial didnt want to go the extra mile to treat him. They would of had to eat the cost. Being uninsured prevented him from overcoming the virus not the color of his skin. I hope the family will find comfort and peace as well as the people who are suffering in Africa.

  • Falcon

    How many have died from this outbreak so far? Jesse Jackson needs a wakeup call. If the states begins to see an Ebola outbreak due to this man coming to the states, racism is going to be the least of anyone’s worries.

    Racism only exists when someone wants it to exist.

  • Ella Williams

    My regards to the Dallas nurse in her family . It is sad that she is experience this horrific virus. I am praying for her recovery. VThomas Ducan’s family are grieving the loss of a family member. They are in shock right now and are still trying to adjust t their loss. There was talk about his prognosis being poor because of how advanced the disease was in his body, and his renal shut down. The Ducan family have the right to believe and do what they want to do. Thomas Ducan was treated humanely while he was experiencing his Ebola crisis he was exposed to at least 70 healthcare workers through the course of him seeking assistance. Illnesses are spread in hospitals everyday from the medical staff. People often come into the hospital for many procedures and contract a hospital acquired infection do to the break in the chain of the protocol by the hospital staff. ..that being said the CDC should come down with better infection control guidelines.

  • agatha

    Why they did not send him to his country if here his treatment was not good enough? By the way, how much did his family paid for his treatment?


    Jesse Jackson needs to stay out of everyone’s business. Always crying foul in the name of racism. All he wants is his 15 minutes of fame and camera time. He needs to take care of his own family business as his son and daughter in law are big crooks. Fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Fact of the matter is that Duncan lied about his health to get into the USA. I wouldn’t doubt if he lied to the ER personnel. He is NOT a hero . He knowingly brought his illness to the USA. Now many lives may be affected by his negligence. If his family sues the hospital then all those who contracted Ebola from him as well as those whose lives have been affected by the need to be monitored should all sue his family.

  • whatever

    If America is so horrible and it’s population as a collective whole is so “racist” I have a solution. Go back from where you came, go elsewhere where you want to go and take the Rev with you.
    Maybe if America was notified a walking pandemic was headed our way maybe they would have been more prepared to handle his care. But… The “whities” who were cured didn’t just barge their way back home. They came back when a facility could care for them- they were invited back home.
    Medical staff risked their lives for this man. One nurse has since become infected. And this is the thank you these caring individuals get for their efforts? Really?! There was no remaining experimental drugs left that saved the others, it takes months to make. Can’t go to Walgreens at the corner of happy n healthy to get it. Blood plasma transfusions only work if type compatible. Wtf were they supposed to do for a largely incurable virus?

  • Anna Gee

    Jesse Jackson needs to share how much he cares about Blacks by going to West Africa and volunteering in the Ebola isolation units right along side the multi-cultural (including white doctors and workers) group of selfless people who are trying to help stem this horrid outbreak…otherwise he has NO CRED….what a douche bag he is…

  • cdw

    USA implanted the Ebola virus in unsuspected Africans to create this epidemic and the nerve trying to cut yourselves off and place blame. Just deal with the problem you created



  • Christina B

    I think Duncan and his family knew he had Ebola and he lied at airport and hospital tht he hadnt been directly exposed. When in fact he knew he had been. Funny none of his family got sick, like they were aware of wht the real problem was. He knew and he was scared and selfish to come here and risk spreding it. His family shld be sued and deported.

  • zlly

    Family of Thomas Duncan.. Sit your butt down. You should be ashamed of yourselves right now.

    Thomas Duncan point blank came here knowing he had Ebola. Anyone else find it strange no one in his family has come down with it? I mean wouldn’t this so called fiance be kissing, hugging having sexual relations with him? or maybe no one touched the man because from Day 1 they all knew he had it.

    Secondly, it was a privilege not a right for him to be treated, we shut down a 24 unit intensive care floor for this man, set him up with his own team of 50 doctors and nurses to care for him, taxpayers spent hundred’s of thousands of dollars trying to save this man and make his family comfortable.

    Now a innocent woman who was trying to save your selfish family member is struggling for her life and you are talking about a lawsuit? You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Patricia

    I am an African American woman and feel Jesse Jackson needs to stay out of this. Duncan lied to get here and his family members knew it too. He infected many people and now his family members want to sue. I guess the taste of the gated community and luxury has gotten to them. What Duncan committed an act of biological warfare and it should be handle as such. His family should not be able to sue anyone and apologize for his actions. The nurse should sue the Duncan Family and the apartment owners should sue the family as well for putting innocent people at risk. The USA government should sue the Duncan family for the aiding and abiding a biological terrorist and the State of Texas should sue the family for his hospital bill. Plus for funeral arrangements and such. It’s not a racial issue at all; rather it’s an American Crisis…so Jesse Jackson please go sit down somewhere.

    • Adrienne Fitzpatrick

      How do you know HE lied? His nephew said the story about the pregnant woman was made up. I find it more likely that the hospital would be the liars since they are the ones who made the mistakes.

    • Ms. Evette

      I agree with you wholeheartedly Patricia…Well said and he did lie when he said he was not in contact with anyone with ebola…so where did he get it from himself…right? They are really tripping off of this (the Duncan family) they think America owes them something yeah, maybe a oneway ticket back to Liberian for them to make it and sue them for Ebola…they are crazy. The nephew is a real liar and appears to be dumb!

    • Jenny

      Thank you Patricia ,I am a heath care worker ,Thomas Ducan,not a US citizen , lied to get it this country ,the hospital spent over $400,000 desperately trying to save his life. A bill he will never pay for ,we Americans will foot the bill for him ,because that’s how we are . There were over 27 African American nurses who tried to save his life ,and over 35 white nurses. How about boycotting Sierra Leone Jesse Jackson, a foreigner has potentially infected all of these 70 Americans because her lied to get in here . We are all Americas Jesse Jackson needs to shut up and get his facts straight ,keep in mind last year his personal income was over 1 million dollars, much of which was gathered from threats of boycotts like this one ,if companies didn’t donate to his rainbow coalition, the majority of which lined his and other family members pockets .I wish only the best for Thomas Duncan’s family members ,but this is not something that should be exported by a money grubbing racial divider like Jesse Jackson ,we are all Americans

      • Gayle

        Funny, I heard the reason he was sent home at first without a proper work-up was because he did not have health insurance. The hospital was too cheap to do the right thing, exposing all sorts of people to the virus who otherwise would not have been. Now you want to be lauded for providing care after the fact? He most likely died from lack of early intervention, and others will, too, because of corporate profitering on the backs of the sick. Since when is healthcare only a right of the wealthy?

    • Tony

      Jesse Jackson needs to stay out of everything and stop race-baiting. Every time something bad happens to a black person, Jesse Jackson and/or Al Sharpton come out of the woodwork looking to accuse someone of something and they always have their hands out.

    • Annie

      Patrica, You are beautiful. I love that you have the intelligence to see that even though people are still insisting that all evil is racially motivated, it is, in fact, all the hollering about racial motivations that is keeping the racial tensions alive. If it weren’t for all the hollering, I do believe the only time race- in this day and age- would be considered, would be by the few backwards, ignorant, inbred people who the world will never be free of. But they don’t reflect the educated or the masses. I think the masses would have stopped seeing color if only they weren’t told by the media, on a daily basis, that it matters. And people like Jessie Jackson just keep pointing out ‘differences’- although there aren’t any- He’s keeping people segregated in their minds. Personally, if people stopped talking about white and black, I would forget that color of skin meant anything more than color of hair or eyes. If we all walked around in purple paint, maybe then we could start addressing the real issues. We would then be saying things like, oh, this happened because businesses don’t like providing services for free- so offer to pay for their services, or get out. And that other issue happened because if you run down a street with a gun, you’re going to get shot at. All races make stupid decisions, and all races need to accept that their actions are why they are in the spot they’re in. So the fact that you can see this with such clear common sense just makes you so beautiful. Duncan made mistakes, and he paid for them. It had nothing to do with race, it had everything to do with where he had gone, what he did while he was there, and not having health insurance at a time when ‘having it and how to get it’ has been the biggest topic in America these past years. Although, I do have to say, the hospital should pay for a few mistakes as well, they really did do a piss poor job of things. I don’t think any financial restitution should be awarded the family, they didn’t earn the money. But the hospital should be held accountable in some way, for their own mistakes against the rest of the community.

  • angel

    I’ m an african american also but in healthcare. I agree Duncan probably lied to get here, and as much as it upset me, as an ER nurse , the facility had an obligation to provide care once he was accepted and legally you can’t refuse him.I wasn’t there but based on the fact he did provide his travel history upfront at the hospital, he should have never been sent home, i do think he got inadequate care on the first ER visit, don’t know the motive or if they just didn’t want to deal with the aftermath, but someone should have made another call before sending a man from liberia with a temp of 103 back in the street , but I have saw similar situations , often it’s more about lack of coverage and not wanting the headache of”extra work” . Shame on the doctor that evaluated him and the nurses that didn’t advocate for notre to be done.

    • IRowe

      I have a question, The girlfriend went on about how she told the nurse that he was in Africa, I assume the intake nurse. My question is this, why didn’t she tell anyone who walked in the room the nurse assigned , the doctor when he walked in the room, the person who took the blood sample, and the Ct scan people. If I was truly concerned I would have been telling anyone who would listen. I have been in an ER recently and I ended up telling every single person that walked in everything that I was concerned about. Not just the intake nurse, every single person that walked in to the room asked me what was going on.

    • Ms. Evette

      Well now that two nures got Ebola I really don’t think it was intentional to misdiagnose him I doubt they really risked their lives knowing that he was a possible Ebola patient and put themselves and others in the hospital in harms way with protective gear the first night that he went to the hospital. I want to know where is his family and why they do not have Ebola…seeing that he was so sick when he went to the hospital the first time, and return back to their apartment for a couple of days living with them touching things in their home including them but yet no mention of them contacting Ebola but two nurses with protective gear gets it…mmmm you sure they (family) wasn’t suspecting he had Ebola and stayed their distant from him….mmm mmm wow! Duncan was wrong and his family is just looking to get some money, they have not seen him for over 15 years really and the nephew is full of crap! Try suing if you will…they will not get a dime…back to Liberia and live a better life….

  • Noneya

    These comments are horrible!!!!! May God have more mercy on your soul than what you are giving this man. Gheez!!! and you wonder why Americans are hated so much, Hurt people, Hurt people!!!! All this hate towards this man…..its uncalled for. You dont knowmfor a fact that he lied, that he knew that woman in Africa he helped had ebola. If some of your hateful people where in a similar situation wht would you do if you saw a pregnant teen hurting, bleeding and in bad way. Yeh, right I all ready know the answer, you would walk away. Cowards! Ask yourself this question would it be betterbto be a live prisoner in America than a dead corpse in the street….? I’m sure most of you would of got on that plane.
    I pray for the everyone to stop being so mean. I pray no one else contracts this disease and I pray for healing and perfect recover for the healthcare workers that contracted this disease.

    • Jon

      He probably brought his mooching ass over here knowing he was sick hoping for America to bail him out like we usually do.

      • Ms. Evette

        I agree with you. He was on some personal stuff and he didn’t care about no one but himself, he knew he was with that sick person and lie about getting here. Now he’s nephew is lying saying he didn’t have contactwith the pregnant woman at all. Really ugly nephew shut up and go back to Liberia you are nothing here. There will more Ebola forthcoming as these folks stick together, eat together, they are disgusting together. Stay away from them as they dont care about anyone but themselves. As proof from Thomas Duncan.

    • Jimmy Dean

      Will you be praying when you get ebola? Or will you be relying on the fact based community? Ie. modern healthcare? I hope your entreaties to your sky daddy go well.

  • john

    Always the hospitals fault lets sue and get money. Its not like ebola was a life threatening desease. Tell you what lets call it even Duncan was not a citizen with no health insurance lets sue the family to cover his bills. If he entered this country someone in his family should have been responsible for is room and board and , his medical expenses

  • PiscesMike

    Oh yeah, so racist that he only had a team of 70+ people working to try and save his life.

    Go ahead, talk your stuff race baiters. What are you going to do when people go into self preservation mode, and all doctors and nurses refuse all care to save themselves?

  • Lorraine

    So sad for the terrible loss of a loved family member. My 3 questions are, 1. Why are the Nigerians in Nigeria who did the exit screening not being “threatened” by “Legal” drama? 2. If the medical treatment is so “incompetent” and “racially”motivated everywhere else in America,except at the Emory University Hospital, why not tell the truth in your country of origin about your exposure to this horrific disease and then stay so that you can participate in that country’s far more “Competant” and Racially Fair medical system? 3. How is it possible in this country , with our HIPAA laws, that “details” of the patient and his condition and care are out there in the public with FAMILY members now threatening to review his records? Did he sign a release form for his records to be released? If not, then HOW is it possible for the family to continue with those Legal Actions?

  • jay

    He should have never been let into this country in the first place. Now because of hia irresponsibility two others are sick and the disease is possibly spreading. He received free healthcare, or healthcare which the rest of us can pick up the tab for, and his family wants to sue the hospital? Makes sense. Get real. When will jesse Jackson just disappear?

  • Oldmev

    Doctors at Texas Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan was treated, say their staff was ‘well-equipped’ to handle his case. Yet no health care workers at Emory University Hospital, where Dr. Kent Brantly and Dr. Nancy Writebol received life saving treatment for Ebola, contracted the disease, while 2 nurses from Texas Presbyterian Hospital, have now been verified with Ebola; both cared for Thomas Eric Duncan.

  • mbj

    Didn’t this man lie, when boarding the plane for the USA, as to whether he had been in contact with a person who had ebola?

  • gian

    The hospital was right in not transferring Duncan to Emory University Hospital. Such transfer would be very risky and would definitely cause breach in the containment of the virus. It should be a proper protocol that the infected be confined in one place and the facility be moved to him. If he moves a lot more, the more people would be at risk getting the virus. A nurse had already been infected when they treated Duncan in the hospital, so how much more would be infected if they transferred him to another medical facility?

  • SicknTire of Stupidity

    Since this whole mess reared its ugly head, the Duncan family has been moved to an undisclosed area and since that has taken place we have not heard anymore about if any of those individuals contracting the virus. They lived for days in the house while he had symptoms, so what was so different in what they did versus what the nurses did. Are they out of quarantine? This is the question that I would like answered.

  • Anne

    This non-citizen KNOWINGLY entered our country after being exposed for the sole purpose of obtaining better health care. WHY DID WE EVEN TREAT HIM? We should have shipped his lying ass back to his own country. Now two US citizens have been diagnosed! I am shocked his family is even bringing his up. Terrible!

  • Marie

    Dose this family even care that they knowingly spread a deadly virus in the United States why have none of these people been prosecuted including the self proclaimed rev Jesse Jackson they knew he was sick before purchasing his airline ticket they should every last one be in jail

  • Sunny

    On September 19, Duncan went to the airport in Monrovia, where according to Liberian officials Duncan lied about his history of contact with the disease on an airport questionnaire before boarding a Brussels Airlines flight to Brussels.

    • Diverg S

      You are wrong on so many levels. The man DID not know that he was infected. He took a pregnant woman that was having a problematic pregnancy for help. The fact the the woman had eboli was not known until AFTER her death. He did not know. His government never said he lied. They said IF HE LIED, they may file charges. Get your facts straight.

  • Dejadame

    I demand to see the family he was living with. Where are they? What has happened to them? Are there records of the children being back in school? Something is missing. I would feel much better if I knew for sure that those people were alive and well but we’ve heard nothing but half truths so far…… I want to see them speak on live tv. Show me the proof.

    • Cleon Valentine

      You are so right! The last we heard they were moved to an undisclosed location. That was about 2 weeks ago. My guess is they’re sick with Ebola. If that’s being hidden from us, how much else is there we’re not being told? And when people who are “under close observation” are allowed to get on a plane and fly to another city and back, how can we believe the government or its CDC has a handle on this? My guess is they’re making it up as they go along. Obama says public transportation is not a problem; a CDC person says you can get it if you’re within three feet of someone who has it. It is the job of government to protect its people. West African governments have failed in that regard. We gonna follow suit?

    • peggy feld

      They are probably living in an upscale gated community, the children probably have private tutors all paid for by the American taxpayers. Send them back to Liberia where their government can pick up the tabg

  • Cleon Valentine

    My roots are in Chicago so I watch WGN and follow the web. I was directly involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, was in Chicago when it was burning in 1968, and I am white. When racial discrimination is bona fide, I take a stand. I must say, however, that it really amazes me that Jesse Jackson or anyone else would suggest Duncan’s treatment was substandard because he is African. What amazes me even more is that people such as Jackson seem to promote discrimination among blacks against whites. While there are a lot of white people who are racist, there are a lot of black people who are racist, too. But let’s face it, President Obama would never been elected without whites voting for him. The slaves would never have been freed if whites had not died in the civil war. A lot of white medical professionals are dying in Africa trying to help Africans survive Ebola. And many of the people who treated Duncan in Dallas were white, also. Let’s stop the hate and racially motivated hate culture. One things for sure, we make it through this terrible disease and life itself together, black and white, together. Baseless inuendos lie this serve only to make together harder to attain.

    • Annie

      Cleon, I wish you could go around making as much noise as Jesse Jackson. You make valid points that most people have never given thought to. If you could hold rallies saying all of these things, maybe we could wipes racism out of the country.

    • Diverg S

      I doubt you were on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. Those people that were beaten, jailed, attacked by dogs, police, and kkk are forever changed. Don’t forget that most people died in the Civil War to save the union. I may not often agree with Jesse Jackson, but he has been on the front line for civil rights for a very long time. I am sure he knows a lot about civil rights violations and racism.

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