Brenda Bock, the coroner of Grand County, Colorado, called out the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday over the way it is classifying death data. Specifically, Bock said two individuals among the county’s five recent COVID-19-related deaths had actually died of gunshot wounds.
“Because they tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 30 days, they were classified as ‘deaths among cases,’” Bock explained to KCNC-TV.
“It’s absurd that they would even put that on there,” she continued. “Would you want to go to a county that has really high death numbers? Would you want to go visit that county because they are contagious? You know I might get it, and I could die if all of a sudden one county has a high death count. We don’t have it, and we don’t need those numbers inflated.”
The CDPHE states on its website that the “information is required by the CDC and is crucial for public health surveillance, as it provides more information about disease transmission and can help identify risk factors among all deaths across populations.”
The state does, however, make a distinction between “deaths caused to COVID-19” and “deaths among people who died with COVID-19.” In the latter category, “COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate.”
I recently had to get tested prior to attending a wedding. I learned that in Connecticut, and perhaps in most or all other states, medical providers are required to report all positive test results to the state’s health department. This allows them to keep track of how many residents have contracted the virus. Okay. Fair enough.
But if someone who tested positive in the past 30 days and has already had their result counted by the state is out and about and is shot to death, what difference does the COVID-19 in their system make?
Reporting it as a “death among COVID-19 cases,” merely amplifies a state’s, and the country’s, coronavirus statistics and confuses the issue. It exaggerates the threat and it frightens people.
Then again, the higher the numbers, the more compliant people become.
Bock’s story is not surprising. Ever since the coronavirus arrived on our shores, we’ve heard many disturbing reports of doctors falsely listing COVID-19 as the cause of death.
In July, an investigation was conducted by WPEC-TV in Palm Beach County, Florida, into county records of COVID-19 deaths. As you may have guessed, the study found that, included among the deaths caused by COVID-19, “were a 60-year-old man who died after being shot in the head, a 77-year-old woman whose death was caused by Parkinson’s disease, and a 90-year-old man who died from complications from a hip fracture caused in a fall.”
Moreover, WPEC was given a spreadsheet containing records of 581 people who had died from the virus. Of those, 169 listed COVID-19 as the only cause of death.
Also in July, the death of a young man who had gotten into a motorcycle accident in Orange County, Florida, was also, of course, attributed to the coronavirus.
We’ve all read similar stories: A man in hospice died of cancer, but he happened to have tested positive for COVID. Another man fell off a ladder to his death. Still, it was recorded as a COVID death.
Over the summer, it was even reported that hospitals had a financial incentive to inflate the number of COVID deaths.
All we know is that the coronavirus immediately became a political football. It was a dream come true for the Democrats and the Republicans’ worst nightmare.
And our perception of events, to a large extent, depends upon where we sit on the political spectrum.
But no matter where you stand, deaths being reported incorrectly, like those reportedly occurring in Colorado, should be cause for concern.