‘I am so, so angry’: A sister says her brother’s suspected COVID death was preventable

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 2:51 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Desiree Edgington is enraged. Her brother Mike was found dead on Oct. 2 at home, in his bed, alone. Her brother tested positive for COVID-19 prior to his death. Edgington blames the virus for her brother’s death, but is waiting for the final autopsy report from the state for proof.

“I am angry. I am so, so angry,” Edgington said. “It was useless. There is no reason for this, none whatsoever.”

Mike would have turned 70 in December.

Edgington asked Alaska’s News Source not to use Mike’s last name, which is different from her own, while she gets his estate in order.

She said her brother worked on the North Slope for 20 years. She grew up in Anchorage and would visit the state as an adult, but she and Mike didn’t remain close. He was healthy and hadn’t seen a doctor until about a week before his death. Edgington says Mike refused to get vaccinated.

According to Edgington, Mike told their mother he had tested positive for COVID-19 the Monday before he died. When she spoke to him that Wednesday, he was coughing violently and short of breath, but said he would be fine.

“It was a left wing conspiracy, that yes, OK, COVID was out there because he heard people were dying, but those numbers were made up. That even people that were dying of COVID it was something else that probably caused it,” Edgington said, describing her brother’s feelings about vaccinations and COVID-19. “And the vaccines were not safe and not effective and he had no intention of getting one.”

The state has reported 592 residents and 22 nonresidents whose deaths have been related to the virus since March of 2020 when the pandemic began.

Alaska still has the highest rate of new cases per capita in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Anchorage Assembly recently passed an emergency ordnance requiring people to wear masks in public spaces in the municipality for no more than 60 days. Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has vetoed the ordinance, and the assembly is set to address possibly overriding his veto at a Thursday special meeting.

Thursday morning, Edgington was buying tickets to fly back to Alaska to pack up her brother’s apartment and figure out what to do with his belongings.

She says their mother is the one who called police for a welfare check after Mike hadn’t returned phone calls for more than three days.

“Saturday was when the police got involve and did a welfare check,” Edgington said. “They went by and knocked. There was no answer, and my mother called back up and was frantic. So I guess they went back again with a locksmith and came in and he was lying in the bed dead.”

Mike died sometime between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2. Edgington said police and staff at the state Medical Examiner Office estimated he had been dead at least a day.

She says the police told her they found medication to treat COVID-19 similar to what they’ve seen at other deaths.

According to the state, people age 60-79 make up more than 50% of the people who have died with COVID-19 and more than 60% of all Alaska COVID-19 deaths are men.

“He died out of his own hubris,” Edgington said. “He died because he believed the conspiracy theorists. He died because he thought he knew better than the scientists and there was just no reason for him to die.”

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