Supervisor Jim Desmond is interviewed on Fox News. Image from video

Noting that most of the now over 200 San Diegans who have died while being treated for COVID-19 suffered from an underlying medical condition, Supervisor Jim Desmond is calling for the state to let healthy people go back to work.

“We should be able to get other folks without underlying conditions — healthy people — back to work while protecting those with the underlying conditions,” Desmond told KUSI on Sunday.

“That’s not to belittle any deaths at all, but only six were due purely and solely by COVD,” he said.

Desmond made similar comments to Fox News on Saturday.

County health officials acknowledge that most victims of the disease have underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, obesity and other chronic conditions. But they note that over half of the county’s population suffers from one or more of these conditions.

The latest Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Surveillance Report from the county Health and Human Services Agency shows eight deaths solely from the new disease, but the statistics change daily as more deaths are reported.

Desmond, a Republican who represents District 5 in North County, said that as an airline pilot in private life he has to “deal with facts” and stressed that “the virus doesn’t know politics.”

The solution, he said, is to protect those with underlying conditions while allowing healthy people to go back to work with proper safety precautions. He said the state’s requirement of 14 days without a COVID-related death is an “unattainable goal” in a county the size of San Diego.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.