Firebrand Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s latest racially-charged claim is that Ebola – the deadly disease ravaging parts of Africa and now diagnosed on American soil – was designed by white scientists specifically to kill off blacks.
The 81-year-old leveled the charge in his organization’s newspaper, The Final Call, insisting the disease is man-made and cooked up in a laboratory as a means of population control. He underscored the claim on his Twitter page, which has 308,000 followers.
“There is a weapon that can be put in a room where there are black and white people, and it will kill only the black and spare the white, because it is a genotype weapon that is designed for your genes, for your race, for your kind,” Farrakhan wrote.
Farrakhan has previously made similar claims about AIDS. This time, he cited a 2000 research paper by the now-defunct think tank Project for the New American Century which predicted “advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes, may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.”
The first known case of Ebola dates back to 1976, but outbreaks have occurred, mostly in Africa, in the decades since. The current outbreak began in Guinea last December and spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal and is now responsible for more than 3,300 deaths. The disease, which has a mortality rate of between 50 and 90 percent, is spread by contact with body fluids and no credible medical authority believes it affects races differently.
The first diagnosis on U.S. soil associated with the current outbreak came on Wednesday and involved a Sierra Leone man who flew to Dallas.
But Farrakhan is not alone in his suspicions about Ebola. Villagers in remote areas of Africa have alleged the disease is a Western plot and has even killed aid workers. And in the U.S., Delaware State University agriculture professor Cyril Broderick wrote a letter to a Liberian newspaper charging Ebola was created by the U.S. military and pharmaceutical companies who are intentionally spreading the deadly disease in Africa.
“The U. S., Canada, France, and the U.K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are,” wrote Broderick.
For Farrakhan, the wacky theory is just the latest example of him peddling a conspiracy. Last year, he claimed that Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state in the Nixon administration, had concocted a plan in which “2 to 3 billion people on our planet would have to be [killed].”