On Saturday, Colorado’s Health Department revised their official coronavirus death count downward to 878 from 1,150 as of Friday—a stunning reduction of 23.7 percent. The reason for this correction was that anyone who died from other causes while testing positive for the coronavirus was counted as a coronavirus-related death.
In the wake of this revision, Jared Polis, the Democrat governor of Colorado, started pushing back against the official coronavirus death counts, saying even those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are inflated from including people who tested positive for the coronavirus but died of other causes.
“The CDC criteria include anybody who has died with COVID-19, but what the people of Colorado and the people of the country want to know is how many people died of COVID-19,” Polis told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” Polis does acknowledge that there are probably legitimate coronavirus deaths that have been missed as well.
Polis’s concerns about inflated death counts nationwide are not unfounded. Last month, New York City officials controversially made the decision to count the deaths of people who were presumed to have the coronavirus for having similar symptoms. Hospitals are also given more money from the federal government to treat patients if they’re presumed to have the coronavirus.
Another issue with coronavirus deaths is inconsistencies with reporting. “Inconsistencies in death counts have been happening on both the state and national level. As of Friday, Johns Hopkins University data counted 85,974 national COVID-19 deaths, while the CDC was reporting 83,947 that same day. There has been concern that even the CDC’s lower number may be artificially high,” 890KDXU reported.
Dr. Fauci, however, has argued that the coronavirus death toll is “almost certainly higher” than what’s reported.
Polis believes that these discrepancies must be resolved, as they were in his state, without the issue being politicized. “One of the reasons we wanted to make sure we reported it out in a better way was to inspire confidence so that it wouldn’t be politicized,” Polis explained. “These are deaths that should not be politicized.”
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis