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Governor questions traffic fatality initially classified as COVID-19 death

The Orange County Department of Health on Monday confirmed the case to 10 Tampa Bay but says that the case has since been corrected.

TAMPA, Fla. — The governor brought up an interesting discrepancy while speaking to reporters Monday about the number of COVID-19 death across Florida.

He cited an example of at least one person classified a COVID-19 death, who likely died of something entirely different.

“People have had questions about it,” DeSantis said. “I think they were in their 20’s and they were in a motorcycle accident and that was counted as a coronavirus death. 

“A lot of people are like how is that possible? You know, you get hit by a car and then you were attributing it to coronavirus?”

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The Orange County Department of Health on Monday confirmed the case to 10 Tampa Bay but said that it since has been corrected. Now the governor says he’d like to know how often those same type cases are happening.

“It just needs to be, OK here’s what the CDC is requiring, here’s what this means, and then here are some instances in which clearly it was someone who died with rather than died because of,” DeSantis said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises medical examiners to list COVID-19 when it’s a cause or underlying factor in the person’s death. But if someone dies from something else like a car wreck, even if they had COVID-19, trauma should be listed as the primary cause of death.

Cases that didn’t follow that protocol have cause some, including the governor, to question if COVID-19 numbers are inflated. But earlier this month, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says if anything, it’s likely the opposite.

“I don’t know exactly what percent higher, but almost certainly it is higher,” Fauci said.

The governor now wants answers on why the motorcycle case from Orange County was listed as COVID-19 and wants those keeping count of COVID deaths to be completely transparent with the public.

“Obviously, most of these cases you’re having respiratory issues, you’re dying because of [COVID-19]. I am not diminishing that.  But there are some of those cases, particularly when you start talking about things like car accidents which I think people just kind of scratch their head.”

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