Ben Carson Refused a Paternity Test
Republican presidential candidate and frequent victim of many a case of foot-in-mouth disease, Ben Carson, is making headline again as news broke of a paternity claim he previously wrote about in an op-ed for the Washington Times in 2014. In the piece, Carson writes of a Florida woman who attempted to sue him for child support unsuccessfully after he refused to give a blood sample out of fear his DNA would one day be found at the scene of a murder.
There’s a bit of speculation as to whether or not this incident even occurred after some inconsistencies have been found in his book, Gifted Hands in regards to claims he was granted a scholarship to West Point Military Academy as well as claims he was a violent and aggressive teenager prone to attacking friends and loved ones with various weapons.
In His Own Words
Carson’s op-ed is rather detailed as he recounts the events surrounding the paternity claim. He wrote:
“Several years ago while I was working in the operating room, I received a call from one of the legal offices at Johns Hopkins University informing me that the State of Florida was trying to attach my wages to for child support. I was quite shocked at such an allegation and informed them that I had three children, which I already support very ably. They said a woman in Florida was accusing me of being the father of her son, and that she had proof of our relationship. The proof turned out to be knowledge of where I went to high school, college, medical school and where I served my internship and residency. To top all that off, she had a picture of me in scrubs. I said anyone could obtain such information. However, the paternity suit was pursued, and I had to involve my personal lawyer.”
Carson felt that the woman was going to go to great lengths in her attempt to collect child support from him or worse. ” As the case advanced, I was asked to provide a blood specimen to facilitate DNA testing,” he wrote. “I refused on the basis of the incompetence of any governmental agency that was willing to pursue a paternity suit on such flimsy grounds. I said that level of incompetence would probably result in my blood specimen being found at a murder scene and me spending the rest of my life in prison. “
Now, of course no laboratory is infallible, but the likelihood of Carson’s sample finding it’s way to a murder scene seems pretty slim. And unless there’s more to those stories he’s been telling about his days as a knife and hammer wielding hoodlum, why is he so concerned? Unlike paternity tests which compare two DNA specimens and calculate the likelihood of a relationship, DNA from murder scenes can be used to find exact matches with people in a database. So, unless he killed someone, what is he hiding?
He goes on to claim that the case was dropped and he was able to move on with his life as he continued along with his profession as a neurosurgeon and eventually with his bid to become President of the United States in 2016.
Is There More or Less to the Story, Dr. Carson?
However, there appear to be a few inconsistencies with Carson’s version of his paternity suit, which follows suit with many of the things Carson has said or written about his life over the last few years.
According to an email sent from a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Revenue, employers are not contacted based exclusively on a paternity claim. The email said, “Wage attachment (income withholding) must be based on an income deduction order issued by a court of administrative tribunal. Before an income deduction order is issued, paternity must be established, if needed, and a support order established.” So, this begs the question of why John’s Hopkins attorney’s brought this to Carson’s attention when paternity hadn’t been established at any point in time?
Another area up for debate revolves around his claims about the request for a blood sample; the email continued, “Blood samples were used in Human Leukocyte Antigen testing. In approximately 1995/96, it changed to a buccal swab (tissue sample from inside of cheek) being used to complete DNA testing.” This is of interest because timing is everything in this story, and Carson is rather vague in his recollection of how or when the matter was resolved, so there’s no way to know if blood samples were even still being used when he’s claiming the paternity suit was filed. There’s also no indication when it was supposedly resolved, which mind you, can only occur if a claim is withdrawn, through genetic testing or through a hearing in a Florida courtroom.
So, we’re left with more open ended questions than concrete answers for now; Carson continues to lash out at various media outlets attempting to sort out fact from fiction. “This is a bunch of lies attempting to say I’m lying about my history, I think it’s pathetic, and basically what the media does is they try to get you distracted,” he said in a louder than usual tone when speaking with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota last week. “It’s just garbage. We have too many things that are important to deal with.”