Thanks to Lucie Lecomte for the link to this report. Sometimes the internet has a lot to answer for. Via The Sun: Ebola: Nigerians descend on Sawyer’s widow. Excerpt:
Decontee Sawyer, widow of the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer who imported the deadly Ebola virus into Nigeria has come under scathing criticisms from Nigerians for defending her late husband’s mission in Nigeria at a time he was said to have been placed under medical surveillance by authorities in Liberia for showing symptoms of the virus.
Initial reports about the Liberian’s mission in Nigeria had claimed that the late Sawyer flew into Nigeria on July 20, 2014 with intention of participating in an ECOWAS event that held in Calabar. However in a swift defense his widow, was reported by TMZ, a Liberian magazine, to have said her late husband came to Nigeria for proper medical attention as he didn’t have trust in Liberia’s healthcare system.
The magazine credited Sawyer’s widow to have said, “I’ve read other reports in other papers (not the New York Times) about Patrick’s ‘recklessness.’ I get where they’re coming from, and they certainly have the right to feel the way they do. However, as Patrick’s widow, I would like to shed some light on this from another perspective. One that only I, his wife, would know,” she wrote.
“I knew Patrick better than anybody else (including him). He had told me many times in the past how much he didn’t trust the Liberian healthcare system. He would tell me about how a person would get checked in for one thing, and get misdiagnosed and get the wrong treatment as a result. On top of that, Patrick was a clean freak, and told me how filthy a lot of the hospitals were.
“He didn’t tell me this, but I know in my heart of hearts that Patrick was determined to get to Nigeria by all means because he felt that Nigeria would be a place of refuge. He had expressed to me so many times in the past, how passionately he felt about helping to be a part of strengthening Liberia’s healthcare system, because he knew it wasn’t there yet, and he wouldn’t want to take a chance with his life because a lot of people depended on him- Patrick had a passion for life, and he wouldn’t have wanted it to end this way. So, I bet the only thing that he was thinking was, ‘if only I could get to Nigeria, a way more developed country than Liberia, I would be able to get some help.’ How ironic!”
Ostensibly piqued by the ravaging effect of Ebola virus in the country, many Nigerians have taken to social media to express their anger against the defense put forward by Sawyer’s widow.
A Facebook user, Engineer Ogbodo Joy, called on Sawyer’s widow to go for an Ebola test rather than try to defend her late husband whom he dubbed Ebola terrorist.
“The wife of the Ebola terrorist should just have her mouth shut, instead of making a whole lot of noise. Hope she has gone for her own treatment of the disease, or is she waiting to see a country where she would go and spread the virus as her husband did or is she waiting for our nation to get over the disease that her husband infested us with, before she comes over to Nigeria and infect us with her own disease, since Nigeria has become their abode where they can always come over to spread the deadly disease. Nigeria has now become the best nation for every medical attention,” he said cynically.
In another reaction, Rabiu Muhammed asked rather rhetorically, “why didn’t your husband travel to America for quality health care service,” adding, “Good health care my foot! Pure terrorist, now he will sure get the good health care he needs by taking along all those he has infected and killed. Don’t know how such a callous soul will find rest. He is absolutely wicked, what stopped him from telling every one that he has Ebola or was he dumb on arrival. Wondering if he was even paid by those evil Boko Haram.”
It goes on. Social media can help fight outbreaks like this, and they can also promote outbreaks like this.