United Airlines Reports COVID-19 Related Employee Death Before Family Notified, but it gets worse
In a recent interview with me on the COVID-19 Roundtable, I spoke with the brother and sister of Carlos Consuegra, a United Airlines employee working at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.
In the interview, the family asserts that 53-year-old Carlos Consuegra was working with an employee who had recently gotten back from Italy and who came down with a fever. When Carlos came down with a fever, United Airlines sent him to an employee designated clinic, where he was diagnosed with an ear infection and told to self-quarantine.
A few days later (last Friday), at the urging of his family, Carlos went to the hospital. Only now, he was so weak that he had to be taken by an ambulance to Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen.
For two days, doctors at the hospital ran tests and during that time according to the family, he was only given Tylenol and an air ventilator. When his brother, Roque asked why he was not on antibiotics, Carlos did not have the answer to that.
It would be two whole days later that the hospital would finally put Carlos on antibiotics, but by then it was too later. Carlos passes away at the hospital on Friday from notorious coronavirus.
During the interview with me, the family expresses outrage that United Airlines released a statement without giving the entire family time to be notified. One of Carlos nieces learned of his death from the internet following the airline's statement on Live And Let's Fly.
The statement reads as follows:
“It’s with deep sympathy that I share the unfortunate passing of Mr. Carlos Consuegra, one of our Ramp Service Employees here at Newark.
It is a true tragedy to lose a member of our Newark family under such circumstances.
We have been working closely with our Corporate Medical Department, the CDC and local health authorities during this entire pandemic and working together with all our employees on keeping each of you protected against the virus.
The spread of the virus is difficult to identify, and it’s unknown where or how Carlos contracted the virus
We must take this untimely incident to remind each of us to follow the CDC guidelines to wash our hands often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching noses, mouths, and eyes, and keep social distancing to remain healthy.
Carlos Consuegra’s passing is a loss for all of us. His team described him as their big brother, who would always take care of them. He was known for his dry sense of humor and always going to the gym.
He’ll be remembered by his friends and family, including his wife, two children, three grandkids, eight siblings and his parents”
In a tearful plea, Carlos's sister, Liz Dapena called on United Airlines to be honest and truthful about how and where her brother got the coronavirus. I added that until then, no one working at United Airlines is safe. Yes, United Airlines dropped the ball and should take responsibility.
How many United Airlines employees and passengers were put at risk due to the negligence of Unite Airlines?
How many more have contracted the coronavirus after flying with United Airlines in our out of the New Jersey international airport?
None of these questions were answered in an official statement released by United Airlines to PIX11 News.
United Airlines released this statement to PIX 11
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our employees at Newark Liberty International Airport. The thoughts of the entire United family are with his loved ones.”
The company also said they are doing what they can to keep their customers and employees safe.
This statement seems far from true as illustrated by the death of Carlos Consuegra well illustrates. Consuegra was described by his wife as an athletic non-smoker.
Consuegra's story also illustrated the need for everyone to take the coronavirus very seriously and practice self quarantining.
You can listen to the full interviews of Roque Consuegra and Liz Dapena on our latest episode of COVID-19 ROUNDTABLE WITH JOSEPH BONNER.