NBC5’s Meredith Land has landed an exclusive interview with the two faces of Dallas’ Ebola response, County Judge Clay Jenkins and Mayor Mike Rawlings. It will be broadcast Thursday at 6 and 10 p.m.
Showing great candor, the two men speak of the challenges and frustrations both professional and extremely personal.
Jenkins faced criticism for entering the apartment of Louise Troh, the fiancée of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan, and meeting with her and her children. He tells Land, “I think it was very important for Louise and those three young men to be seen as human beings. There was a tremendous amount of fear, not based on science at that time, and I didn’t want to ask the first responders to do anything that I myself wouldn’t do. The main reason I did that was for Louise. I don’t want to unnecessarily dress up like a space man and de-humanize this person any further.”
When Jenkins went with Troh’s pastor to inform her and the family that Duncan had died, he had to reassure her youngest child.
A portion of the interview is available below. In a longer version, which will be available online after broadcast, Jenkins says, “It was very difficult as a father, I had to get on the floor like a catcher because I couldn’t touch him. He was saying, ‘Judge, just tell me if I am going to die, take me to the hospital if I am.’ And, I said, ‘No, you’re going to be OK,’ just trying to get him to look at me and tell him he was going to be OK.”