(JTA) — An NBC photographer diagnosed with Ebola has a biological Jewish father.
Ashoka Mukpo was expected to arrive at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha from Liberia on Monday.
Mukpo was raised in Colorado by the late Tibetan Buddhist leader Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche; his mother was one of his several wives. His biological father, Mitchell Levy, one of Trungpa’s followers, is Jewish, The Associated Press reported. Mukpo’s mother and Levy married after Trungpa’s death.
Levy told the AP that his son was filming inside and around clinics and high-risk areas in Liberia but didn’t know how he became infected. Mukpo returned to the west African nation in August to cover the epidemic.
As an infant, Mukpo was identified as a reincarnated Tibetan lama, a role he did not embrace though he is still a practicing Buddhist.