Columnist and political commentator Ann Coulter has slammed missionary Dr. Kent Brantly for choosing to serve in Liberia rather than the United States.
"Why did Dr. Brantly have to go to Africa? The very first 'risk factor' listed by the Mayo Clinic for Ebola – an incurable disease with a 90 percent fatality rate – is 'Travel to Africa.' Can't anyone serve Christ in America anymore?" Coulter wrote in her column on her website.
Brantly has expressed his faith and the desire he had to serve.
"In October, [my wife] Amber and the kids and I are moving to Monrovia, Liberia, to work as medical missionaries at ELWA Hospital," Brantly told the Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis. "For two years we will live and work and serve among the people who, until the last 10 years of peace, have known nothing but the violence and devastation of war for the previous 20 years."
Brantly added that although he had "never been to Liberia," he was going "because God has a call on my life. God did not give us a spirit of timidity," he explained, citing the Apostle Paul.
However, Coulter accused Brantly of being a publicity seeker and leaving his family "to fly to Liberia and get Ebola" instead of staying in Texas, "where he wouldn't have risked making his wife a widow and his children fatherless. But serving the needy in some deadbeat town in Texas wouldn't have been 'heroic.' We wouldn't hear all the superlatives about Dr. Brantly's 'unusual drive to help the less fortunate' or his membership in the 'Gold Humanism Honor Society.' Leaving his family behind in Texas to help the poor 6,000 miles away – that's the ticket."
Another missionary, Nancy Writebol, was also infected while working in Liberia. She was recently transported back to the United States for treatment, and her husband has spoken out about those who criticize his wife and others who try to do a bit of good in the world.
"It's just astonishing to see the reaction of people, and I think it exposes the underlying philosophy and worldview of the age where … an individual is really of no account and when someone goes to extraordinary lengths and measures to minister to and perhaps help an individual, then that's looked down upon," said David Writebol in a statement.
Both patients are responding to treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Brantly worked as a part of Samaritan's Purse, while Writebol worked with an associated nonprofit, SIM.