A 17-year-old boy in Los Angeles County who became the first teen believed to have died from complications with covid-19 in the U.S. was denied treatment at an urgent care clinic because he didn’t have health insurance, according to R. Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, California. Roughly 27.5 million Americans—8.5 percent of the population—don’t have health insurance based on the latest government figures.
“He didn’t have insurance, so they did not treat him,” Parris said in a video posted to YouTube. The staff at the urgent care facility told the teen to try the emergency room at Antelope Valley (AV) Hospital, a public hospital in the area, according to the mayor.
“En route to AV Hospital, he went into cardiac arrest, when he got to AV hospital they were able to revive him and keep him alive for about six hours,” Parris said. “But by the time he got there, it was too late.”
The name of the urgent care clinic that refused to treat the teen has not been released. Mayor Parris explained in his YouTube video that the 17-year-old is believed to have had no underlying conditions that may have contributed to his death.
“He had been sick for a few days, he had no previous health conditions. On the Friday before he died, he was healthy, he was socializing with his friends,” the mayor explained.