Several Palm Beach County Deaths Wrongly Attributed to the Coronavirus

Several deaths in Palm Beach County, one of the areas of Florida hit hardest by the Chinese coronavirus, have been wrongly attributed to the virus, a CBS12 News investigation revealed.
National Cancer Institute via Unsplash

Several deaths in Palm Beach County, one of the areas of Florida hit hardest by the Chinese coronavirus, have been wrongly attributed to the virus, a CBS12 News investigation revealed.

All eyes have been on Florida following the surge in cases of the virus and subsequent discrepancies in reporting. As Fox 35 revealed, health authorities misreported the number of individuals testing positive for the coronavirus, resulting in some labs reporting extremely high positivity rates — as high as 100 percent — even though that did not match reality.

Health officials came under fire yet again last week after listing a man who died in a fatal motorcycle crash as a coronavirus-related fatality.

The CBS12 News I-Team discovered similar issues in Palm Beach County, identifying “eight cases in which a person was counted as a COVID death, but did not have COVID listed as a cause of contributing cause of death.”

CBS12 obtained a spreadsheet from the Medical Examiner’s of 581 coronavirus fatalities in Palm Beach County and found that one of the individuals was a 60-year-old man who died from a gunshot wound to the head. Another was a 90-year-old male who fell and died “from complications of a hip fracture.”

A 77-year-old woman died of Parkinson’s disease.

CBS 12 spoke to Palm Beach County resident Rachel Eade, who has been “researching the same issue” and discovered another stunning observation. Only 168 of the deaths were listed as COVID “without any contributing factors.”

The outlet reported:

The I-Team took our findings to the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office, and Operations Manager Paul Petrino said the eight we flagged were in fact errors, and should not have been on their spreadsheet.

He said office is in the process of removing them.

We asked Petrino if these erroneous deaths were reported to the state Department of Health and counted toward official COVID death counts, and he said the DOH should have caught the mistakes and not included them.

Palm Beach County has reported 29,004 total cases of the virus and 744 related deaths as of Friday. Statewide, Florida has reported 402,312 cases and 5,653 resident fatalities.

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