Date: August 13th, 2019 12:26 PM
Author: Soul-stirring Set Mexican
Epstein's Death Was On 4Chan Before Officials Announced It — Now Authorities Are Investigating
The New York City Fire Department is investigating whether a first responder posted about Jeffrey Epstein’s death on a notorious internet message board prior to officials announcing it to the public, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Less than forty minutes before ABC News first reported Epstiein’s death on Twitter, someone posted still-unverified details on 4chan, the anonymous message board popular with far right trolls and white nationalists.
“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” read the post, which was published at 8:16 AM alongside an image of Pepe, the green frog that has become a mascot for the right-wing internet trolls.
That post was 38 minutes before the first tweet about Epstein’s death was from Aaron Katersky, an ABC News reporter, at 8:54 AM. Five minutes later, the main ABC News account tweeted an article about Epstein's death.
After publishing the post, other 4chan users egged on the author. When they said they didn’t believe that the information was true, the original poster added more information to the discussion thread, including a detailed breakdown of the procedures allegedly used to resuscitate Epstein, which suggest the poster may have been a first responder, medical worker, or otherwise privy to details about efforts to resuscitate the disgraced financier.
Frank Gribbon, a Deputy Commissioner for FDNY, told BuzzFeed News he “could not verify the accuracy” of information in the 4chan post. But he said any medical professional who divulges patient information without consent is in violation of a federal health privacy law, HIPPA, and that FDNY will investigate.
“The department will review this incident,” he said.
Oren Barzilay, the president of the union for EMT workers Local 2507 in New York, said, “our members do not release this type of confidential information, this looks like a 3rd party info.” Barzilay also told BuzzFeed News the union would investigate the potential breach of confidentiality “if such a claim came forward.”
“There's serious consequences for those violations. Discipline. Suspensions. Civil penalties, etc,” Barzilay said in an email.
The office of the Medical Examiner and the Metropolitan Corrections Center both declined to comment. Spokespeople for the New York Presbyterian Hospital have not responded to repeated emails and calls requesting comment.
The full details of Epstein’s death won’t be known until the final coroner’s report is released, meaning the 4chan post laying out the alleged treatment he received cannot be fully verified. An EMS expert contacted by BuzzFeed News said the details in the post are consistent with standard practices. Information released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons also appears to line up with some of what was posted on 4chan.
Dr. Keith Wesley, who has authored several EMS textbooks and articles, viewed the 4chan post at BuzzFeed News’ request and said it lays out standard procedures for paramedics.
“This sounds like standard American Heart Association guidelines, which most EMS agencies use,” Dr Wesley said.
Part of the post says, “telemetry advised bicarb.” According to Wesley, this could mean the first responders were also speaking with the hospital as they were trying to resuscitate their patient.
“Telemetry implies the paramedics were in contact with a medical control hospital who then gave orders to give Sodium Bicarbonate, bicarb which is designed to reverse the acid buildup in the blood from prolonged cardiac arrest,” Wesley said in an email.
“If one of the medics posted this separately that’s a breach of protocol,” he added. “If there was identifying information on the patient, that is a violation of Federal HIPPA law.”
The 4chan user made six posts about Epstein’s death. One of them claimed that attempts to resuscitate Epstein were made for 40 minutes before he was transported to hospital, at which point medical personnel tried to revive him for another 20 minutes. Those details are at least partially consistent with the information regarding Epstein’s death that have been publicly released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
“Pt transported to Lower Manhattan ER and worked for 20 minutes and called. Hospital administrator was alerted, preparing statements,” said the 4chan post.
“Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued,” said a statement released by the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons on Saturday. “Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff.”
It’s not clear who posted the news of Epstein’s death on 4chan, but first responders and hospital staff would have access to information laid out in the post.
The reaction of 4chan to the news was explosive. Some users didn’t believe the author while others launched straight into conspiracy theories that have since engulfed news of Epstein’s death.
The 4chan thread was first found by Kontad Iturbe, a developer based in Barcelona who was researching conspiracies surrounding Epstien online.
“That'll keep the conspiracies forever!” Itrube said about the 4chan posts.