Colorado’s Democratic Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday ripped the coronavirus death counts conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying the numbers are grossly inflated.
Some states are attributing all sorts of deaths to coronavirus, even though many of those who have died had severe comorbidities, such as heart disease, diabetes or obesity.
Polis’s charges came just days after his own state’s health department admitted Colorado’s death numbers have been inflated to include people who had the virus but died from other causes. The state dropped its numbers nearly 20%, from 1,150 people to 878.
“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 “Fox News Sunday.”
“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 said. “These are deaths that should not be politicized.”
Fox New said that “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.”
Polis’s concerns are well founded. New York City officials last month ordered hospitals to count the deaths of people who were presumed — not confirmed, presumed — to have COVID-19 as deaths from the virus. Hospitals across the country also receive more money from the federal government for treating COVID-19 patients, which has also led to inflated numbers.
The Colorado governor said he has a good working relationship with President Trump, a Republican.
“Look, I happen to be a Democrat, but what I’ve said is he’s the president we have, and I owe it to the people of my state who elected me to work with any president. There’s a time for politics, there’s a time for elections,” Polis said. “This isn’t it.”
Polis also said he wants to reopen state schools in the fall. “By and large, I think across our state and across our nation are going to be able to return to school in the fall, it’s just not going to look like any other school year,” he said.