San Diego County supervisor says six of 194 confirmed deaths are ‘pure, solely coronavirus’ deaths
| May 15, 2020 11:52 AM
The supervisor of San Diego County, California, is pushing back against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, arguing that only six of the county’s 194 recorded coronavirus deaths are “pure, solely coronavirus deaths.”
“We’ve unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths — six out of 3.3 million people,” San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond said in an interview this week, according to the San Diego Tribune. “I mean, what number are we trying to get to with those odds? I mean, it’s incredible. We want to be safe, and we can do it, but unfortunately, it’s more about control than getting the economy going again and keeping people safe.”
San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten disagreed with Desmond’s assertion that the vast majority of deaths in the county were individuals with preexisting conditions.
“Their life is no less valuable than someone’s life who does not have underlying medical conditions,” she said. “This is not just San Diego. This is how this is done throughout the entire nation in terms of identifying who has died of COVID-19.”
Desmond responded to Wooten, saying that “any loss of life, for any reason, is worth preventing” but added that “clearly, those with underlying circumstances are the most vulnerable. I believe we can keep people safe and responsibly open our businesses.”
A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in late April concluded that 94% of coronavirus patients in New York City hospitals suffered from preexisting conditions.
Desmond’s comments come as states across the country are debating how to classify coronavirus deaths in hospitals. Polls show that people are growing skeptical about the death counts being released by their local governments.
Coroners in Pennsylvania and Colorado have expressed frustration with the way coronavirus deaths are being tallied, and White House coronavirus task force response coordinator Deborah Birx said that the official death toll could be inflated by 25%.
“There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,” Birx reportedly said.
Fellow task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believes the number is being underreported.