The state of Florida reported a person in their 20s died to the coronavirus despite not having any underlying conditions.
The figure was notable as the coronavirus is known to be particularly lethal to people who are older or suffering from another respiratory condition or a weakened immune system—and not those who are younger and with a healthy, uncompromised immune system.
So, a Fox 35 reporter asked Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino about the particularly surprising situation.
The reported later learned the individual “died in a motorcycle accident [and] was added to Florida’s COVID-19 death count.”
More questions about Florida’s #COVID19 data tonight after state health official tells us a person who died in a motorcycle accident was added to the state’s coronavirus death count. Story at 10 #FOX35News
— Danielle Lama (@DLama_FOX35) July 17, 2020
The health official answered: “I don’t think so. I have to double-check. We were arguing, discussing, or trying to argue with the state. Not because of the numbers — it’s 100…it doesn’t make any difference if it’s 99 — but the fact that the individual didn’t die from COVID-19…died in the crash.”
He added: “But you could actually argue that it could have been the COVID-19 that caused him to crash. I don’t know the conclusion of that one.”
Reporter asks Orange Co Fla health official if the two COVID deaths listed as in their 20s had any underlying conditions. Reply:
“The first one didn’t have any. He died in a motorcycle accident.”https://t.co/IFUOz4WpbC
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) July 17, 2020
Here’s more from Fox 35:
Earlier this week, the Florida Department of Health sent FOX 35 News a statement that attempted to clarify that a “COVID death” is determined if, “COVID19 is listed as the immediate or underlying cause of death, or listed as one of the significant conditions contributing to death. Or, if there is a confirmed COVID-19 infection from a lab test – and the cause of death doesn’t meet exclusion criteria – like trauma, suicide, homicide, overdose, motor-vehicle accident, etc.”
“The only thing that I can say to people is the data I provide you with is the data we consume from the state. We offer you the best data that we have,” Dr. Pino said.
Dr. Pino tells us the medical examiner has to certify all COVID-19 deaths. We also reached out to that office and haven’t heard back.