News and Commentary

Man Falls From Ladder And Dies After Allegedly ‘Complaining Of Headache’ And ‘Shortness Of Breath.’ Doctors Say COVID-19 Killed Him
Doctor in protection gloves examining & organising test kit for COVID-19 in laboratory.
Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images

A Croatian construction worker toppled from a 10-foot ladder and succumbed to the coronavirus, according to doctors.

Doctors wrote in a report that a 51-year-old man who fell off a ladder and suffered cuts and bruises to his head died from the disorienting effects of COVID-19. The man fell while working on a home earlier this year, according to the Journal of Forensic Pathology.

“During the autopsy, doctors found that large swaths of the man’s lungs were blocked,” the New York Post reports. “The finding then led scientists to conclude that he suffered from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) — a life-threatening condition that can be caused by COVID-19.”

The doctors determined that COVID-19 led to the man’s fall, killing him, so his death had to be recorded as due to the illness per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Investigators ruled out foul play and learned from coworkers that the man had type-2 diabetes and had smoked for decades.

According to the journal:

The police investigation revealed that none of the co-workers eye-witnessed the fall but all of them uniformly stated they suddenly noticed his body lying on the ground. Initial suspicion of physical conflict between the victim and some of the co-workers, leading to victim’s fall, has been raised, but further investigation has given no support for such a scenario. In the absence of any medical records, the only available data concerning the health condition of the deceased were gathered from his co-workers who had been sharing the same accommodation with him for the last ten days. From their statements given to the police, we learned that the deceased suffered from type-2 diabetes and was a smoker for decades. During the week preceding his death, he had been complaining of headache, fatigue, fever, cough, chest discomfort and shortness of breath. He had refused the suggestion to see a doctor and had kept working until the moment he died.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, late last year. Chinese authorities worked to suppress information about the outbreak of the disease early during the outbreak, and their unreliable reports about the severity of the illness were repeated by experts at the WHO, giving some legitimacy to the Chinese disinformation.

In March, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Beijing’s “misinformation campaign” for much of the damage the disease wrought in Europe.

“This disinformation campaign, which began when we began to call out this risk that was created not only for the Chinese people, but now we can see people all across the world where the Chinese Government knew about this risk, had identified it, they were the first to know, and they wasted valuable days at the front end, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to leave Wuhan to go to places like Italy that’s now suffering so badly. They tried to suppress this information – you talked about the means by which they did it – instead of trying to actually do the work to suppress the virus, which is what the world demanded. And the Chinese Communist Party didn’t get it right and put countless lives at risk as a result of that,” Pompeo said during an appearance on Fox News.

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