This Week’s Headlines
Del. State professor scrutinized after article
By JONATHAN CRIBBS
DOVER, Del. (Oct. 7, 2014) — A Delaware State University official declined last week to say whether the school would discipline a tenured professor in its agricultural college who claimed in Liberia’s largest newspaper last month the U.S. government is behind the recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.
In a Sept. 9 article in the Daily Observer, published in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, plant sciences associate professor Cyril Broderick wrote the U.S. government, along with other western nations and companies, has been testing the virus in Africa, leading to its most recent outbreak, which has killed more than 3,000 people and infected nearly 7,000.
Broderick, a Liberian, has taught at Delaware State for 22 years, said Carlos Holmes, a university spokesman.
“Dr. Broderick was speaking in his article as a private citizen,” Holmes said. “Dr. Broderick’s academic discipline doesn’t even have anything to do with [virology]. … We don’t do that here at Delaware State University. … We do not share his views. We do not share his conclusions.”
Broderick’s column became a national news story on Sept. 26 after U.S. news organizations discovered its publication.
Paranoia and a lack of education regarding the spread of the disease throughout West Africa has been a major issue for doctors fighting to stop its outbreak across the region.
Doctors Without Borders, a Swiss nonprofit, is treating infected patients across West Africa. But its organization doesn’t have access, for instance, to some villages in Guinea because of fear and misunderstanding about the virus, said Tim Shenk, a spokesman with the organization.
“Ebola is a new disease in these areas of West Africa, so it is understandable that people in the affected countries are scared,” he said in a statement to The Delmarva Farmer. “However, it is only by instilling trust among the population that we can control the chain of virus transmission. … When people come early to be treated, they have a better chance of surviving.”
In his semi-intelligible article, Broderick said Ebola is a genetically modified organism tested by the U.S. military and international organizations 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,” he wrote. “There is the need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages, and African countries and people should secure legal representation to seek damages from these countries, some corporations, and the United Nations.”
Broderick has a doctorate in plant physiology from the University of New Hampshire, according to Delaware State.
His primary research areas are plant physiology and plant tissue studies. He is currently studying sulfur in plants and engaged in research with the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center’s microscopic imaging division in Wyndmoor, Pa.
Broderick could not be reached for comment.