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Originally published October 13 2014

Ebola 'patient zero' fled Liberia with intention to enter USA as a survival strategy

by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer

(NaturalNews) When Thomas Eric Duncan abruptly left Liberia and came down with Ebola shortly after entering the US, many questions were raised. Did Duncan already know that he had Ebola? Did he travel swiftly to the US as a survival strategy? How did Ebola "patient zero" manage to bypass customs and board multiple flights without being questioned by Liberian officials and US customs in the midst of a viral pandemic?

Now the details are emerging in one of Liberia's largest newspapers, the Liberian Daily Observer. According to his former boss, Duncan had contact with a symptomatic Ebola patient four days before heading to the US and "knew he had Ebola." Reportedly, Duncan left his job abruptly as a survival strategy. An interview with Duncan's former boss, Henry Brunson, was published in the Observer. Brunson, along with an unnamed coworker, profess that Duncan knew of his condition and abruptly boarded a plane out of Monrovia, Liberia, to seek treatment in Dallas. Brunson told the paper, "If he were in Liberia, he was going to surely die." The symptomatic pregnant woman whom he was helping has since passed away along with other members of her family. If he would have stayed, he would have likely died right along with her. His boss said he was "glad" that Duncan could make it to a country with adequate medical resources before it became too late.

Coworkers agree that Duncan knew he had Ebola

His boss wasn't the only one to confirm Duncan's intentions. A FedEx worker in Monrovia told the Observer that Duncan knew that he had Ebola. The man knew Duncan because Duncan worked as a driver for Brunson at SafeWay Cargo, a FedEx contractor. SafeWay Cargo recently confirmed that Duncan was employed as a personal driver for the company's general manager. According to coworkers, Duncan acquired an American visa in mid-September after being in a car accident and "did not care and never returned to work afterwards."

Upon hearing the interviews, the Observer called out Duncan's abrupt move to the US as a "desperate attempt to survive."

Additionally, author Omari Jackson wrote that, "A source at FedEx in Monrovia said Mr. Duncan apparently knew he was suffering from the disease and that his best chance of survival was reaching to the United States."

Liberian government intends to prosecute Duncan

The Liberian government now intends to prosecute Duncan for lying to them about whether he had come in contact with a symptomatic Ebola patient before leaving the country. Liberian officials now have documentation that Duncan lied to escape the country. If Duncan did have direct knowledge about having Ebola, he may have knowingly put several thousands of people at risk as he escaped to America for treatment. If he knowingly violated screening procedures at the Monrovia airport, he could be found guilty of lying to Liberian officials, a high crime that also put several thousands of more people at risk.

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