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Valley man complained about inability to get COVID-19 test before death

Posted at 7:12 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 02:07:00-04

PHOENIX — The ABC15 Investigators have learned that the first person in Arizona that reportedly died from coronavirus had complained about the country's response to the pandemic on social media.

Friends say 50-year-old Trevor Bui, a deputy aviation director for the City of Phoenix, died on March 17. He wrote on his Facebook page that he went to an urgent care facility on March 10, but he said he was unable to get tested for COVID-19.

"He was a very smart guy and very friendly," said Ron Houston, who knew Bui for 15 years through a local swim club.

"We'd meet sometimes two to four times a week and get in a swimming workout, and then often we would go out to eat together as a group," Houston said.

On his Facebook page, Bui questioned in early March why there wasn't drive-thru testing here like there was in South Korea. Since then, several COVID-19 testing sites have opened across Arizona.

Bui also wished our government would be "proactive" and questioned why "our president said it was not that bad."

Bui's humor also showed through, showing a cartoon about not touching your face, on Facebook.

Houston remembers last spoke to Bui in January "to wish each other a Happy New Year."

"He was enjoying his job and doing well at it," Houston said.

The City of Phoenix announced an aviation employee had died from coronavirus several days after Bui died, but did not name him due to health privacy laws. Bui is the first reported coronavirus death in Arizona.

Houston hopes Arizonans hear Bui's story and do their part to stop the spread.

"Stay at home and isolate," Houston said. "It's crucial, absolutely crucial."