Fla health official shocks reporter when he says man in 20s listed as Covid death died in motorcycle accident

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A Florida health official sparked more questions about the state’s COVID-19 data after revealing that a recent victim of the virus actually died in a motorcycle crash.

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino reportedly “surprised” Fox35 in Orlando with his response to a question about the underlying conditions of two patients in their 20’s who were listed in the state’s coronavirus death totals.


(Source: Fox35)

“The first one didn’t have any. He died in a motorcycle accident,” Pino told reporter Danielle Lama.

Asked if the victim’s data was removed from the coronavirus reporting, Pino could not give a definitive answer.

“I don’t think so. I have to double-check,” he said.

“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.”

The news outlet questioned whether the data being left in the state totals created a contradiction, thereby skewing accurate numbers. In another report, Fox35 had revealed after an investigation that the positivity rates from coronavirus testing in Florida were shockingly lower than reported by the state’s health department.

In a statement to Fox35 earlier this week, the Florida Department of Health explained 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.”

Pino told the outlet that all COVID-19 deaths in the state have to be certified by the medical examiner.

“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,” he said.

Lama tweeted that the news station is “working to get more information from the medical examiner’s office .”

While some health officials and experts have argued that coronavirus cases are being undercounted, the issue of potentially inaccurate reporting has been questioned in other states as well. Fox News host Laura Ingraham addressed the topic on “The Ingraham Angle” this week, noting that positive cases in repeat testing of coronavirus patients are counted as new cases in several states and cities.

Ingraham also spoke with Fox affiliate reporter Robert Guaderrama about the numbers in Florida.

“We got tipped off…that the numbers didn’t quite look right on the state’s daily case report,” he said. “So, looking into the breakdown of test labs I quickly noticed astronomical positivity rates.”

The latest report involving the motorcycle accident victim sparked immediate reaction on social media where the process and the health official were slammed.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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