Carson’s campaign team did not respond to several Quartz’s emails asking for more detail about the candidate’s African ancestry.

Carson also planned to visit Zambia, where he hoped to visit with Joseph and Luka Banda, conjoined twins that he helped separate in a celebrated operation.

He also was expected to make a stop in Nigeria, where he hoped to burnish his foreign policy credentials by exploring the governement’s battle against Islamist Boko Haram rebels. He also wanted to visit a medical school that is named after him.

Carson also cancelled an unrelated trip to Israel that was scheduled for early January.
Little known outside of evangelical conservative circles, Carson burst into the top rank of the crowded COP presidential field with a potent appeal to Christian conservatives who are particularly likely to participate in the crucial first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1

In recent weeks, Carson, a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, has fallen back into the pack amid questions about his temperament and lack of political, foreign policy or decision making experience.

He also raised eyebrows with odd claims, like his assertion that the Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain. They were actually built as elaborate tombs for the pharaohs.

Carson garnered just 11% in a recent national poll, and has also lost ground in Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz, who is targeting the same pool of evangelical conservative voters.

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