This story is just about as gross as it gets in the current political climate and the age of COVID-19. Exploiting the death of an infant to somehow bolster a point that you have not yet successfully made with the data and science we keep being told decisions are being based on.
Last Wednesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun were present at a press conference that the Governor held to update the citizens of the state of all the things we are still not allowed to do. These events have become a long drawn out affairs that rarely reveal anything new but are meant to reinforce that the Governor and her staff are working really hard at analyzing data and science that they never seem to release.
Dr. Khaldun in her part of the presentation tried to reiterate kids are not immune to the disease and mentioned how saddened she was that a 2-month-old infant had passed from the COVID. This set off an angry Facebook post from a woman claiming to be the baby’s mother saying how angry she was at the state “skewing the numbers” on COVID deaths. The Facebook post has since been taken down but according to media in Detroit, the child did NOT die from COVID as Dr. Khaldun said.
From the Detroit News…
The immediate cause of death for a 2-month-old the state’s top medical doctor said died because of COVID-19 was a birth defect called gastroschisis, a condition in which a baby is born with intestines located outside the body, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner.
Necrotizing enterocolitis and COVID-19 also were listed as other conditions on Hudson King’s death certificate, according to a medical examiner report obtained by The Detroit News.
Hudson was announced, but not named by the state, as Michigan’s youngest victim of COVID-19 Wednesday, but no details were given as to the infant’s gender, hometown or any underlying conditions.
Now, maybe Khaldun was told that Hudson had died just from COVID. Possibly she was going on the good faith of that information. However, without actually knowing and then going forward to use this as a talking point shows an incredible lack of empathy.
She can correct this ASAP and apologize for the mixup. This child was born with a condition that was going to cause difficulties from his birth. Babies with this can live into adulthood but this is an extremely serious condition that causes many issues without COVID lurking.
Yet the political instinct of those trying to sell the seriousness of COVID is too use any PR tool in the shed to try to scare or wake people up. This is a horrible example of this method and those who do this should immediately stop and focus on actually convincing people with actual science and data that you can show and explain.
Until then, I guess here in Michigan we can expect these cheap parlor games to be played in a state where the curve is flat but the need to exert Executive Orders based on ‘I SAID SO’ reign supreme.