Dallas County

John Wiley Price "Knows What Happened" at Presbyterian in Ebola Case

Just before heading into a private executive session to address what he called "security issues" related to the Ebola virus' arrival in Dallas, County Commissioner John Wiley Price told his fellow commissioners and County Judge Clay Jenkins what led to the temporary release of an Ebola-stricken Thomas Duncan from Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

"We know what happened at Presbyterian whether we say it or not," Price said. "If a person who looks like me shows up without insurance, they don't get the same treatment."

The issues at Presbyterian, Price said, were the "elephant in the room."

See also: How About We Very Calmly Count the Failures on Ebola So Far? Calm Enough For You?

After the executive session, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson and Christopher Perkins, the medical director for county health services, gave an update on the Ebola situation.

Duncan remains the only confirmed case and none of the 48 persons currently being monitored after having contact with Duncan have shown any symptoms, Perkins said.

Thompson took the opportunity to fight back against media reports that his department was slow to respond after first being notified of the Duncan case.

"There was no misstep by DCHHS," Thompson said. Any reports that say otherwise, he said, are "lying."

DCHHS, according to Thompson, began tracing Duncan's potential contacts immediately and continues to do so.

"I don't want us to get caught up in the Ebola hype and fright," Price said, after reminding the court that it was flu season and commending Thompson for DCHHS' work.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas have issued a number of contradictory explanations over the past week to explain how Duncan was at first released from the hospital's emergency room after going there complaining of fever.

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

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