News & Politics

Worlds Collide: George Floyd Tested Positive for COVID and Had Heart Attack

This undated handout photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd. (Christopher Harris via AP)

The autopsy report for George Floyd shows that he suffered from heart disease, high blood pressure, had a variety of drugs in his system and tested positive for COVID-19.

The victim of Minneapolis police brutality – the death that birthed hundreds of protests, riots, arsons and looting – was in all likelihood asymptomatic and not suffering an active case of the Wuhan-imported virus.

The decedent was known to be positive for 2019-nCoV RNA on 4/3/2020. Since PCR positivity for 2019-nCoV RNA can persist for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease, the autopsy result most likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from previous infection.

His lungs were clear.

The sad story is well known by now. A Minneapolis police officer held down the handcuffed and face-down Floyd with his knee on his neck. All officers at the scene have been fired and face charges. Officer Derek Chauvin had his manslaughter charge elevated to a second-degree murder charge on Wednesday. The other officers on the scene of the police stop were charged with aiding and abetting.

The full autopsy was released last night. Floyd died from several horrible things all at once:

CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST COMPLICATING LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, RESTRAINT, AND NECK COMPRESSION

The report indicated that Floyd had tested for COVID in early April and that his lungs were clear, but that he had persistent infection from the virus.

Worse, at the time a panicked Floyd was pleading for his life and telling the officers he couldn’t breathe, he was having a heart attack.

Fentanyl was also in his system, which could have caused “severe respiratory depression,” according to the AP.

The 20-page report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office came with the family’s permission and after the coroner’s office released summary findings Monday that Floyd had a heart attack while being restrained by officers, and classified his May 25 death as a homicide.

The county’s earlier summary report had listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.” The full report’s footnotes noted that signs of fentanyl toxicity can include “severe respiratory depression” and seizures.

Floyd was, like so many of us, a conflicted man who had many friends who were trying to keep him on the straight and narrow path.

He battled demons.

Floyd was stopped initially for passing fake money. He was going to be charged with forgery.

The autopsy report showed that Floyd tested positive for a variety of drugs.

Positive Findings:
Compound

Result

Units

Matrix Source

Caffeine
Cotinine
4-ANPP
11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC
Delta-9 Carboxy THC
Delta-9 THC
Methamphetamine
Fentanyl
Norfentanyl
Cannabinoids
Amphetamines
Fentanyl / Metabolite

Floyd had injuries associated with being handcuffed and face-down on the ground and he also had a benign tumor in his left pelvic area.

George Floyd’s death took COVID-19 off the front pages and directed Americans’ attention to the non-socially distanced riots and protests. But the fact that Floyd tested positive for the virus is where the two worlds collide.

The great ironies here are that maybe now protests and riots have resulted in herd immunity from the dangerous virus. And that we may finally get a more honest reckoning of how COVID deaths are reported. People all over the country, who died of something else, are being counted as COVID fatalities because they died with the virus.

You don’t think the country will stand for George Floyd’s death to be listed as a COVID case, do you?

 

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