A local news outlet in Palm Beach County, Florida, is saying that several deaths reported in the county were incorrectly attributed to COVID-19 — including a 60-year-old man who died from a gunshot wound to his head.
The investigative team at WPEC-TV reported Thursday that at least eight of the 581 deaths listed on a spreadsheet tallying COVID-19 deaths provided by the county medical examiner's office are incorrectly attributed to the virus.
Here's the upshot: These eight cases are mystifyingly counted as a coronavirus death yet without COVID-19 recorded as the cause or even a contributing cause in the death.
According to the outlet, included on the list is a "90-year-old man who fell and died from complications of a hip fracture" and "a 77-year-old woman who died of Parkinson's disease."
Upon presenting their findings to the medical examiner's office, Operations Manager Paul Petrino acknowledged that the eight cases were errors and said they would be removed.
Those are just the clear-cut inaccuracies: Palm Beach County resident Rachel Eade, who reportedly also obtained the spreadsheet to fact-check it, added that of the 581 deaths listed, only 169 are listed without any other contributing causes.
When other causes of death are listed in addition to COVID-19 on a medical examiner's report, it indicates that virus was not the sole reason for the person's death, though it may have been the primary reason. Some would argue that given the blatantly inaccurate reporting of some deaths, it becomes harder to trust the reporting as a whole.
"I think it is completely misleading," said Eade, who is suing the county over its recent mandate that everyone in the county wear masks in public. "We need to remove those cases that are not COVID exclusive, and we need to be giving people that information."
The news comes after it was revealed last week that man in his 20s in Orange County, Florida, was recorded as a COVID-19 death despite the county's health officer saying he died in a motorcycle crash.
Speaking with Fox News this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said that he is aware of some inaccurate COVID-19 death reporting.
"I think the public, when they see the fatality figures, they want to know who died because they caught COVID," DeSantis said.
"If you're just in a car accident — and we have had other instances where there is no real relationship and it's been counted, we want to look at that and see how pervasive that issue is as well," he added.
I-Team: Deaths incorrectly attributed to COVID-19 in Palm Beach County youtu.be