Last Thursday, headlines flew around the world faster than sick Chinese tourists about COVID-19’s youngest victim: one 6-week old infant.
They were prompted by a tweet made by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont who suggested that the baby’s death from the Chinaflu.
It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to #COVID19. A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived. (1/3)
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) April 1, 2020
The news was horrifying. A six-week-old baby, casualty in the latest War on The Virus incited cries of heartbreak across the globe. On average, 250 new lives are brought into this world every minute by mothers now given information that, in addition to all the other worries a newborn brings, now a global pandemic is targeting them, too.
But what if that is a blatant lie?
Popular conservative and #BLEXIT spokeswoman Candace Owens did some digging and discovered that the baby suffered injuries sustained when its caregiver rolled over on the infant in her sleep.
On Friday, Candace Owens uploaded a Facebook Live video where she demanded transparency from the Governor’s Office about the infant's death and whether he would stand by his claims the mortality was linked to the Chinese coronavirus.
He would not. And whether that was due to the outpouring of rage in response to Owens’ video or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s own statement released an hour later which corroborated her claims... but within the day, during a Friday press conference, Governor Lamont made all sorts of political excuses for his lie.
From my local paper, The Courant:
“An official cause of death remains outstanding pending toxicology results, and officials said it is possible the child died not from the virus but from an underlying condition, sudden infant death syndrome or positional asphyxiation.
In the absence of that official determination Friday, Lamont and Connecticut State Epidemiologist Matthew Cartter retreated from directly connecting the cause of the infant’s death to the virus.
“We have our role. We have our job. The medical examiner has his job,” Cartter said. “They’re very separate, and we count different things.”
“But we do know that that little baby tested positive,” Lamont interjected.”
Nevermind that Gov. Lamont is still using political doublespeak for plausible deniability, questions are now being raised about why healthcare professionals would even be testing for COVID-19 and misleading the public with information, either omitted by the hospital or by elected officials, about the cause of death.
One valuable suggestion is that the loopholes in the CARES Act are being exploited. The legislation pretty much guarantees 100% payment for any medical care received if it’s related to the coronavirus.
It makes sense that hospitals and other medical practitioners may want to try and get every hair from the boar, or the guaranteed funds from the Federal government. But would they lie?
It only creates even more bizarre questions that conservative personalities like Rush Limbaugh are being ostracized for asking: are the COVID-19 numbers being inflated?
And when it comes to kids and coronavirus, the accounts keep being redacted like this one from Miami Herald about an eleven-year-old’s death in Georgia.
“The Georgia Department of Public Health has walked back earlier reports that an 11-year-old boy in metro-Atlanta died from the novel coronavirus.
State officials announced the child’s death Thursday afternoon, noting that he was the youngest Georgian to die from the highly contagious disease. Now, department officials say there’s no evidence to support that.”
Previously, another of these “the youngest known victim” was that of a 17-year-old in Los Angeles County, California. But that death, too is now under new scrutiny. Although terrifying headlines like The New York Times’ Teenager’s Death in California Is Linked to Coronavirus remain live and in circulation, their update reads:
“Update: The teenager has been dropped from the list of deaths from Covid-19 in Los Angeles County, Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said on Thursday. She said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be completing the investigation of the teenager’s death.
A California teenager whose death was linked to the coronavirus may be one of the youngest victims of the outbreak in the United States.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Tuesday said the death of a 17-year-old boy from Lancaster, Calif., was from the coronavirus. Hours later, it walked back that statement, saying the death would be further evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Some unconfirmed reports are indicating that the real cause of death was a drug overdose but because the boy tested positive for COVID-19, his death was added to the running ticker of coronavirus deaths.”
Isn’t it a strange world? It typically takes days or weeks for causes of death to be documented but now we have minute-by-minute Google updates of coronavirus deaths like a stock market ticker. Even more disturbing is state governments seem to be in a competition with who can be awarded Youngest COVID Death and will use unsubstantiated tragedies to throw their hat in the ring.
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