Did a dying Wuhan virus victim really say he thought the virus was a hoax?

According to dozens of media outlets, a 30-year-old man died in the hospital from the Wuhan virus that he caught at a "COVID party," and, with his dying breath, he said "he thought the disease was a hoax."  The story fits perfectly with the anti-Trump narrative that the left must sell to defeat the president's re-election in November, but is it true?  I have my doubts because the whole story has the feel of a burgeoning urban legend.

Here's the story straight from News 4 San Antonio¸ which originally reported it:

A patient in their 30s died from the coronavirus after attending what's being called a "COVID party," according to a San Antonio health official.

Chief Medical Officer of Methodist Healthcare Dr. Jane Appleby said the idea of these parties is to see if the virus is real.

"This is a party held by somebody diagnosed by the COVID virus and the thought is to see if the virus is real and to see if anyone gets infected," Dr. Appleby said.

According to Appleby, the patient became critically ill and had a heartbreaking statement moments before death.

"Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said 'I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it's not,'" Appleby said.

Pardon me for being cynical and suspicious, but I don't believe it.  First of all, these alleged COVID parties seem to be an urban myth.

According to Wired, beginning in March, rumors of "COVID parties" periodically cropped up in the news.  By April, The New York Times had even managed to dig up an expert who said such parties (none of which had been proven to have happened) were a bad idea.  Wired sees this as the media selling a narrative:

The press just can't stop pushing the narrative that people are trying to get themselves infected. And they always seem to push it the same way: Local reporters write down what some official said, and then national publications pick up those claims, citing the local reports as evidence. At no point in this chain has anyone bothered to confirm the underlying claim. The whole thing is reminiscent of the supposed scourge, in the mid-2000s, of "pharm parties," at which America's wayward teens were said to put their parents' prescription drugs into a bowl and then consume them at random. This did not really happen.

I'm extremely suspicious, therefore, about Dr. Appleby's claim that some unnamed person (she doesn't say if it's a man or a woman) went to a COVID party.

The story is also pure hearsay.  Appleby's just relaying what someone else said, not something of which she has firsthand knowledge.  The person who had firsthand knowledge is dead, so he can't establish the truth of the statement.

The law does acknowledge that people who are dying are presumed to speak the truth with their final breaths.  Except that...Appleby wasn't quoting the dead man.  Instead, she was quoting an unnamed nurse who purportedly heard it from the dead man.  Second-degree hearsay is about as reliable as when your toddler, covered from head to toe with frosting, asks, "Cake, what cake?"  It's just not believable.

The other problem is the word "hoax."  As you may recall, Politico ran a manifestly dishonest story claiming that, during a rally in Charleston, South Carolina, President Trump called the virus a "hoax."  In fact, what President Trump said was that the media, having failed with the Russia hoax, had come up with their next attack on Trump, which was to politicize his response to the virus.  That politicization was "their new hoax."

At no point ever have any serious conservatives said the virus is a "hoax" — although many have said the Democrats' over-the-top reaction, which lasted right up until the Black Lives Matter protests, and then resumed when the protests ended, is a deliberate effort to tank the economy in advance of the election.  After all, Democrats know they can't beat Trump on the economy without their first destroying it.

This whole story doesn't pass the smell test.  Moreover, because of HIPAA privacy rules, no one can name the patient so that the story can be checked.  Unless the patient's heirs come forth to waive the HIPAA protections, this is just going to be one more urban legend that conveniently supports the anti-Trump pre-election narrative that the left is so desperately selling.

Appleby may believe the story she's telling, but, without any corroborating information, it's way too early for anyone else to take it seriously.

Image: News 4 San Antonio screen grab.

According to dozens of media outlets, a 30-year-old man died in the hospital from the Wuhan virus that he caught at a "COVID party," and, with his dying breath, he said "he thought the disease was a hoax."  The story fits perfectly with the anti-Trump narrative that the left must sell to defeat the president's re-election in November, but is it true?  I have my doubts because the whole story has the feel of a burgeoning urban legend.

Here's the story straight from News 4 San Antonio¸ which originally reported it:

A patient in their 30s died from the coronavirus after attending what's being called a "COVID party," according to a San Antonio health official.

Chief Medical Officer of Methodist Healthcare Dr. Jane Appleby said the idea of these parties is to see if the virus is real.

"This is a party held by somebody diagnosed by the COVID virus and the thought is to see if the virus is real and to see if anyone gets infected," Dr. Appleby said.

According to Appleby, the patient became critically ill and had a heartbreaking statement moments before death.

"Just before the patient died, they looked at their nurse and said 'I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax, but it's not,'" Appleby said.

Pardon me for being cynical and suspicious, but I don't believe it.  First of all, these alleged COVID parties seem to be an urban myth.

According to Wired, beginning in March, rumors of "COVID parties" periodically cropped up in the news.  By April, The New York Times had even managed to dig up an expert who said such parties (none of which had been proven to have happened) were a bad idea.  Wired sees this as the media selling a narrative:

The press just can't stop pushing the narrative that people are trying to get themselves infected. And they always seem to push it the same way: Local reporters write down what some official said, and then national publications pick up those claims, citing the local reports as evidence. At no point in this chain has anyone bothered to confirm the underlying claim. The whole thing is reminiscent of the supposed scourge, in the mid-2000s, of "pharm parties," at which America's wayward teens were said to put their parents' prescription drugs into a bowl and then consume them at random. This did not really happen.

I'm extremely suspicious, therefore, about Dr. Appleby's claim that some unnamed person (she doesn't say if it's a man or a woman) went to a COVID party.

The story is also pure hearsay.  Appleby's just relaying what someone else said, not something of which she has firsthand knowledge.  The person who had firsthand knowledge is dead, so he can't establish the truth of the statement.

The law does acknowledge that people who are dying are presumed to speak the truth with their final breaths.  Except that...Appleby wasn't quoting the dead man.  Instead, she was quoting an unnamed nurse who purportedly heard it from the dead man.  Second-degree hearsay is about as reliable as when your toddler, covered from head to toe with frosting, asks, "Cake, what cake?"  It's just not believable.

The other problem is the word "hoax."  As you may recall, Politico ran a manifestly dishonest story claiming that, during a rally in Charleston, South Carolina, President Trump called the virus a "hoax."  In fact, what President Trump said was that the media, having failed with the Russia hoax, had come up with their next attack on Trump, which was to politicize his response to the virus.  That politicization was "their new hoax."

At no point ever have any serious conservatives said the virus is a "hoax" — although many have said the Democrats' over-the-top reaction, which lasted right up until the Black Lives Matter protests, and then resumed when the protests ended, is a deliberate effort to tank the economy in advance of the election.  After all, Democrats know they can't beat Trump on the economy without their first destroying it.

This whole story doesn't pass the smell test.  Moreover, because of HIPAA privacy rules, no one can name the patient so that the story can be checked.  Unless the patient's heirs come forth to waive the HIPAA protections, this is just going to be one more urban legend that conveniently supports the anti-Trump pre-election narrative that the left is so desperately selling.

Appleby may believe the story she's telling, but, without any corroborating information, it's way too early for anyone else to take it seriously.

Image: News 4 San Antonio screen grab.