The man who went into cardiac arrest on a United flight 8 days ago had COVID, but the airline still hasn’t notified passengers and says it’s not their responsibility.
As TMZ reported, the Jefferson Parish Medical Examiner in Louisiana determined the 69-year-old man had COVID and died of respiratory failure. During the medical emergency on the flight from Orlando to L.A., the man’s wife was heard saying her husband was suffering from COVID symptoms — shortness of breath and a loss of taste and smell. He apparently didn’t tell the truth before boarding and didn’t disclose his symptoms.
United has still not notified the 179 passengers on board. A spokesperson for the airline tells TMZ they are not medical professionals so they can’t make COVID determinations. The spokesperson said they have been in touch with the CDC and given them the flight manifest. The spokesperson says it’s up to the CDC to contact passengers who may have been exposed.
We asked why the airline wouldn’t immediately tell the passengers someone on the plane had COVID symptoms and, since he was in distress for nearly an hour before the emergency landing, wouldn’t it be advisable to tell passengers so they could make decisions like staying away from elderly relatives during the Christmas holidays. The response … they’re not medical professionals so it’s not up to them.
The spokesperson said they didn’t know for nearly a week the passenger had COVID so they couldn’t make any determination, but they clearly knew the guy had symptoms.
Many private companies notify their employees directly when they suspect someone in the office might be COVID-positive, so why not the airlines?
The passengers we’ve spoken to say they have not heard from the CDC.