Jesse Jackson visits infected Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas to ensure doctors 'kill the disease and not the person'

"Thomas deserves he best medical treatment America can afford as has happened for all the others who have contracted this terrible disease," he said

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The Independent Online

Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr went on a humanitarian aid mission to Dallas in order to ensure that Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the US, receives the best possible medical care.

Duncan, who was moved to the States from Liberia where he was an aid worker, could face prosecution back in the African country because officials claim that he lied about his exposure to the disease on his travel forms.

UPDATE: Thomas Eric Duncan Dies Of Ebola

Jackson arrived in the Texas city on Tuesday after a request for help from Duncan's family.

"Thomas deserves the love and the best medical treatment America can afford as has happened for all the other Americans who have contracted this terrible disease," the civil rights activist told Fox News.

"He must be treated as a patient with all the human rights deserved, not as a criminal."

He reiterated his point on Twitter, posting that the patient should "not be shunned" and urging medics to "kill the disease and not the person".

Duncan was given the experimental drug brincidofovir following a worsening of his condition over the weekend. Despite this, however, Jackson claims the hospital has held back on giving him the best medicine.

"Now there's such a national concern about it he's getting an experimental drug. We're gonna hope and pray that it is successful," he said. He went on to claim that Duncan had been sent home from the hospital, despite showing symptoms of the disease, "because he didn't have insurance".

Alongside 100 local pastors, Jackson also met with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings during his trip. Together with Duncan’s family, he held a prayer vigil for the patient, before sharing a story about Jesus praying over lepers in quarantine. A number of hospital workers in lab coats and scrubs attended the vigil after hearing about it via an email.

"He was firm in his love for the person fighting the disease," Jackson told them. "We must have that same sense of love for Thomas, to embrace him and fight this disease."

"I'm just praying my dad will make it out safely," Karsiah Duncan, Thomas Duncan’s son, told news crews outside the Wilshire Baptist Church where the vigil was held.


Meanwhile, Texas State Health Commissioner Dr. David Lakey said the city needed to "be prepared for what could happen" if any of the 48 people who came into contact with Duncan before he was admitted to the hospital were found to be infected with the disease.

Ten of those people are said to be at "high risk".

"If any of the family members God forbid becomes ill, we need to be ready," he said.