San Diego County in California has officially listed 194 deaths due to the novel coronavirus, but only six of those fatalities were the result of the virus alone, according to County Supervisor Jim Desmond. All other deaths were also due in part to previous, underlying health concerns.
"We've unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths — six out of 3.3 million people," Desmond said during an interview with Armstrong & Getty Extra Large Interviews podcast . "I mean, what number are we trying to get to with those odds. I mean, it's incredible. We want to be safe, and we can do it, but unfortunately, it's more about control than getting the economy going again and keeping people safe."
Asked about Desmond's characterization of the situation, Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten cautioned it was important not to downplay the loss of life for those with underlying conditions, remarking "their life is no less valuable."
Desmond has been an outspoken critic of California's response to the pandemic, suggesting that leaders are "holding our jobs and the economy hostage." He contends that it is possible to keep people safe and still "responsibly open our businesses."