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Tags: Ebola | Liberia | WHO

Professor Floats Conspiracy Theory Implicating US in Ebola Spread

Professor Floats Conspiracy Theory Implicating US in Ebola Spread
Guinea's Red Cross health workers wearing protective suits carry the body of a victim of Ebola virus at the NGO Medecin sans frontieres Ebola treatement centre near the hospital Donka in Conakry. (Cellou Binani/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 26 September 2014 12:21 PM EDT

A Liberian-born U.S. college professor has ignited fears across Africa with a letter published in a Liberian newspaper blaming tests by the U.S., Western pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization and humanitarian aid groups for the devastating Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in West Africa and is expected to infect 1.4 million by January unless halted.

Dr. Cyril Broderick, associate professor of plant pathology at Delaware State University, wrote in a letter to the Liberian Daily Observer, "The U.S., Canada, France and the U.K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are," the Washington Post reports.

"Reports narrate stories of the U.S. Department of Defense funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone," Dr. Broderick wrote.

Broderick stands by the article and told the Post, "There are many references to what was contained in my letter. You may read the letter and double-check the sources listed. They are available and legitimate."

However, Broderick's "legitimate" sources include conspiracy websites, a book by an author who lists himself as a "humanitarian, clinician, prophet, scholar and natural healer" and the novel, "The Hot Zone."

Efforts to contain the worst Ebola outbreak in history, including the $750 million U.S. relief effort involving 3,000 American troops, have been hindered by disinformation about the source of the virus and how residents of the affected countries can protect themselves against infection, The Economist reports, citing widely circulated fears that "the government wants to sell the blood of Ebola patients, or that it will remove patients' limbs for ritual purposes. Others think health workers will inject them with Ebola or that the ubiquitous chlorine disinfectant spray will give them the disease or simply that the virus is an invention to help the government bring in donations."

Broderick's letter ran in the Liberian newspaper under headlines such as, "Ebola, AIDS Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DOD?" and "Ebola Has a Terrible History and Testing Has Been Secretly Taking Place in Africa."

The article even speculates that the viruses have been "strategically designed as geological weapons" and drew one response from a reader stating, "This paper is creating awareness so that Africans will refuse any vaccination as a biogun that they manufacture and use as a weapon of mass destruction only to annihilate African race."

International affairs blog Ramen IR noted, "Unfortunately, articles like Dr. Broderick’s commonly circulate in Liberia’s local media."

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US
A Liberian-born U.S. college professor has ignited fears across Africa with a letter published in a Liberian newspaper blaming tests by the U.S., Western pharmaceutical companies, the World Health Organization and humanitarian aid groups for the devastating Ebola epidemic.
Ebola, Liberia, WHO
414
2014-21-26
Friday, 26 September 2014 12:21 PM
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