Michigan 2-month-old with COVID-19 died from birth defect

Earlier this week, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun announced the state had its youngest victim of COVID-19, a 2-month-old who had died this month. She did not provide further details about the baby, only to say the newborn "died from COVID-19".

According to the reports from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner, the baby died from gastroschisis, a birth defect in which a baby is born with its bowels outside its body. The report states that the immediate cause of death was 'complications from gastroschisis'. Necrotizing enterocolitis and COVID-19 are both listed as other significant conditions. 

However, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner also summarizes the findings with this statement: "This 2-month-old infant died from COVID-19."

It's unclear why the Medical Examiner indicated the immediate cause of death was complications of gastroschisis but summarize that the baby died from COVID-19.

"He had GI symptoms of the disease, which exacerbated his tenuous congenital defects," the report stated.

The CDC instructs medical examiners to note it as a cause of death for 'proper tracking of the pandemic'. 

The baby, identified through the medical examiner report but not identified in this story, was from Gladstone, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. The report states he was born in Michigan and was sent home and had been improving until September 8.

That's when he developed vomiting and diarrhea and was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was flown to C.S. Mott's Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor and then flown to Children's Wisconsin in Milwaukee due to a lack of beds in Ann Arbor. 

On September 13th, the infant coded after developing respiratory symptoms and it's believed he aspirated. The nurse stated that COVID-19 caused his recent issues.

Dr. Khaldun announced the death of a 2-month-old on Wednesday but did not identify the baby by name, gender, or location.

"I was so saddened to hear this week of a 2-month-old baby in Michigan who died because of COVID-19," she said.

The baby's mother posted in a now-deleted Facebook post that she was angry with the state saying her baby died from the virus.

“I am angry. I am so ANGRY. If you heard the state of Michigan report on COVID this morning, you may have heard a 2 month old baby died of COVID. I need everyone to know that [redacted] did NOT die of COVID. According to the autopsy (which has been told to me via phone but not yet by mail), [redacted] suffered a bowel perforation and an infection because of it... this is directly related to his gastroschisis. I am so angry. I am angry at the government for skewing numbers and making my baby a statistic to try and benefit their agenda while my family is suffering," she wrote.

In Michigan, COVID-19 deaths are classified as such if the individual died within 30 days of contracting the virus.