DeSoto Co. coroner says coronavirus death numbers in Mississippi may be misleading

DeSoto Co. coroner says coronavirus death numbers in Mississippi may be misleading
(Source: AP Photo/John Locher, File)

DESOTO CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A coroner’s Facebook post has garnered attention after he said just because someone may be positive for the coronavirus at the time of their death does not necessarily mean COVID was their primary cause of death.

DeSoto County coroner and medical examiner Josh Pounders said that, in his experience, the individuals who have passed away while also testing positive for COVID-19 have had major medical problems prior to contracting the virus and that most of the deaths have been from those over the age of 75.

According to the MSDH, 62% of coronavirus-related deaths in the state are those over the age of 70.

“Many of these covid deaths are of people who were on hospice care with a terminal diagnoses,” Pounders wrote. “Some of these deaths the person was [positive] for covid but had no symptoms of covid prior to death but died of other medical problems.”

This post is not to take away the importance of any life or life lost during the "covid 19" pandemic. I sympathize with...

Posted by Josh Pounders on Thursday, August 6, 2020

He then claimed that the Department of Health demands that these deaths be classified as a COVID death without reporting that many of these individuals were terminal prior to testing positive for the virus.

In his opinion, this has lead to “unnecessary fear” in the public and has caused stress to those across the country and the world.

Pounders said that because of this fear, he has seen a drastic increase in cardio/pulmonary death which he attributes to two things: stress due to the pandemic and the concern of leaving the home due to false reporting by politicians.

“They see what the news reporter who has no knowledge of what he is reporting broadcast to the world,” Pounders said. “They become scared to leave home and go to the hospitals for fear of a virus when they need medical care for a more serious condition and ultimately have a cardiac arrest at home.”

To conclude his post, which has been shared more than two-thousand times, Pounders stated that any loss of life is a tragedy and that he sympathizes with the family of any individual who has succumbed to the virus.

However, he believes “that public fear and the government reporting only partial information is misleading and should not be."

Pounders said the virus is real and that the public should protect the elderly and those who are frail but that life for the average, healthy majority must go on “so that chaos in our community and across the country does not escalate and ultimately cause more deaths than any virus ever would.”

To date, DeSoto County has seen 3,574 cases of coronavirus and has reported 30 deaths.

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