Mississippi coroner says misinformation leads to overblown fear and stress about COVID-19

Published 5:14 pm Friday, August 7, 2020

The coroner of a Mississippi county with the highest number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases wrote in a social media post that he believes the fears of the virus are overblown.

“This post is not to take away the importance of any life or life lost during the “covid 19″ pandemic,” DeSoto County Coroner Josh Pounders wore. “I sympathize with any family who has lost a loved one however I also believe its important to report facts to the public.

“In the month of July 2020 the Desoto County Coroners office completed reports and in the process of filing 144 deaths with the state of Mississippi. This is an average month in Desoto County.”

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He wrote that of those 144 deaths, 24 were positive for COVID-19.

“All of the individuals who have died that were (positive) for COVID at some point have all had major medical problems prior to contracting COVID,” Pounders wrote. “Most of these deaths have been of people over the age of 75. Many of these COVID deaths are of people who were on hospice care with a terminal diagnoses. 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. The department of health demands that these deaths be called a COVID death and reports them as only that without reporting that many of them were terminal prior to a (positive) test.”

“In my opinion, this has lead to unnecessary fear in the public and caused stress to the citizens in this county and across this country,” he wrote.

“Although anytime life is lost I consider it a tragedy and sympathize with that family. I however believe that public fear and the government reporting only partial information is misleading and should not be. COVID is real and we should protect the elderly who are frail however 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.”

DeSoto County, through Friday’s update, had 3,574 known cases, far more than any other county in the state.