According to an autopsy report released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, a postmortem nasal swab confirmed the 46-year-old had the disease nearly two months after he tested positive on April 3. The document states Floyd was most likely an asymptomatic carrier, as the virus "can persist for weeks after the onset and resolution of clinical disease."
The autopsy report did not cite COVID-19 as a cause of death, but rather due to "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." This was the same conclusion in the county's preliminary autopsy report released last week; however, an independent autopsy ordered by Floyd's family determined his death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia."
According to the county's report, Floyd also had a number of natural diseases, including severe multifocal arteriosclerosis heart disease and hypertensive heart disease. He also suffered blunt-force injuries to his face, shoulders, hands, arms, and legs, as well as a broken rib during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The toxicology report also found he had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system.
Floyd was killed on May 25 while being detained by Minneapolis police officers. A bystander captured the attempted arrest on video, which showed former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as Floyd shouted, "I can't breathe!" Subsequent video footage captured a different angle of the incident, showing two more officers pinning Floyd down from his torso and legs. All four cops who were involved in the killing have been arrested and charged.
Attorney Benjamin Crump challenged the credibility of the county's autopsy report, claiming officials were going to "great lengths" to distort the narrative surrounding Floyd's death. Crump, who is representing the Floyd family, also dismissed the toxicology report as a "red herring."
"The cause of death was that he was starving for air. It was lack of oxygen. And so everything else is a red herring to try to throw us off," he said, as reported by the Associated Press. "It is an attempt to assassinate his character, after they assassinated him right then on the video."
The county's full autopsy report is available here.
Following the release of the autopsy report, Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump shared a recent Instagram comment from George Floyd that described his health while dealing with COVID-19. "George Floyd had COVID-19 ... but it DID NOT contribute to his death," Crump wrote. "In this newly discovered Instagram comment, George said he felt almost 100% back to normal ... over one month BEFORE his death!"
George Floyd's message reads: "I'm good family.No lie that Corona toast me for a few days and I shookem.Pretty much a humid percent back to normal."