A three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was uninvited from a conference at Syracuse University after officials learned that he had been covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, the Post-Standard reports.
The Washington Post‘s Michel duCille told the Post-Standard that Syracuse administrators were worried that he could be an asymptomatic carrier of the disease.
“I just got off the phone with the Dean [Lorraine Branham], and I am pissed off,” he said. “I am disappointed in the level of journalism at Syracuse, and I am angry that they missed a great teaching opportunity. Instead they have decided to jump in with the mass hysteria.”
DuCille has been symptom free for 21 days, and has been taking his temperature twice-daily as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
He told News Photographer that if Dean Branham “had bothered to discuss it with me, she would have known. But they’re just not going to take the direct word of the CDC and the director, and 21 days of monitoring means nothing to them because they’re just being alarmed.”
“They missed a great teaching opportunity here for the students, to show them how to report the facts and practice good journalism,” duCille said. “Instead they went the alarmist route.”
Branham said that du Cille “was disinvited because of concerns that were generated by some students that led me to believe that it would lead to even more concerns. So it was in the best interest of the students for me to withdraw the invitation.”
She did, however, express a desire for duCille to speak at Syracuse in the future.
“I know Michel considers my decision a bad decision,” Branham said. “But we can have that discussion in the future with a larger group of students from the entire university, not just a smaller group at the workshop.”