Colorado has implemented a critical change to the way it counts COVID-19 deaths, lowering the state’s coronavirus death toll from more than 1,000 to 878 as of May 9.
The state’s Department of Public Health and Environment altered the data amid criticism that it had inflated COVID death numbers, KDVR-TV in Denver reported Friday.
“We have been reporting at the state, deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death and the cause of that death may or may not have been COVID-19,” Dr. Eric France, the health department’s chief medical officer, told the station.
There had been an uproar of concern over inconsistent COVID death counts coming from Colorado citizens across the state.
“We started to hear stories about, ‘Are these correct or are these incorrect?’” France said.
It raises a question: If people were not so adamant in questioning the CDPHE numbers, would the false information have continued to be pushed?
Medical professionals also raised doubts about Colorado’s mortality count.
The Montezuma County Coroner’s Office questioned the state’s claims about certain deaths. In one instance, coroner George Deavers determined a man had died May 4 from acute alcohol poisoning — his blood-alcohol level was almost twice the minimum lethal level at 0.55.
To Deavers’ surprise, before he signed the death certificate, the CDPHE had already added the man’s death to Colorado’s COVID-19 death toll.
“They should have to be recording the same way I do. They have to go off the truth and facts and list it as such,” Deavers told KCNC-TV in Denver.
He is just one of many medical professionals who have spoken out against what they said was false medical reporting.
“The state is reporting that death as a COVID death, but our health department wanted to let people know that even though the person did have the virus, they did not die from it,” Montezuma County public information officer Vicki Shaffer told The Durango Herald.
“Having these two systems in place has potentially created some confusion, and we apologize for that,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado state epidemiologist, only after the disturbing facts were brought to light.
The state also claimed that ” it does not unilaterally change information on death certificates and does not question or try to change a physician’s diagnosis or causes-of-death determination.”
Well, Deavers’ and the state’s claims are awfully conflicting.
There has been widespread criticism of Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ handling of the virus, but some were glad to see his somewhat pointed response to his health leadership.
“What the people of Colorado want to know is not who died with COVID-19, but who died of COVID-19,” Polis said during a news conference on May 15.
“The numbers are very close, of course,” he said. “There’s only a few cases that we’re aware of where there is some gray area. But where there is a gray area, we should always use — for reporting — the numbers that come from the physician or the coroner that actually addressed the patient or inspected the body.”
Other state politicians, including Republican Rep. Mark Baisley, want an investigation into whether the CDPHE reported false deaths at a Centennial senior living center as coronavirus deaths, along with the mislabeled alcohol poisoning death.
“Falsely inflating the number of deaths due to COVID-19 adversely impacts the professional reputation of nursing homes, hospitals and healthcare workers while creating undue fear for families,” Baisley wrote in a letter to 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler.
His accused Jill Ryan, executive director of the CDPHE, of possibly “falsely altering death certificates.”
Polis said the effort to hold the CDPHE accountable was “completely inappropriate.”
However, when a government agency is found to be deceptive over and over again, whether accidental or otherwise, I find it not only extremely appropriate but also prudent to get to the truth.
If life-altering policies are being created based on these numbers, then having accurate numbers reported is beyond critical. Whether the figures are being inflated or undercounted, the repercussions could be serious.
Colorado is not alone in lowering COVID-19 death counts. Other states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, also have had to remove deaths from their tallies.
The data should be straightforward, but they have been shown not to be in a growing number of cases. And why is this? That is the multitrillion-dollar question at this point.
What do inflated COVID deaths give politicians and top organizations? Power to control the narratives, societal procedures and ultimately almost every aspect of people’s lives.
The establishment media has been filled with leftists claiming the virus would potentially kill us all. Now that this hype is being tampered down by instances of states lowering numbers, their fear-mongering narrative isn’t quite as effective.
This is positive news with our country opening back up.
Colorado’s lowered coronavirus tally shows us that if more states follow suit, national mortality rates could be significantly reduced as well.