Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday that his state significantly reduced the number of COVID-19 deaths that the state was reporting because the number included people who died with the coronavirus but not necessarily from it.
The segment came after Fox 31 Denver reported late last week:
Nearly 300 fewer people have died directly from COVID-19 in Colorado than originally reported, after the Colorado Department of Health and Environment changed the death statistics Friday.
CDPHE now reports that as of May 9, 878 people had died “due to” COVID-19 and 1,150 people have died “among” COVID-19 cases.
The reduction of 272 deaths from the COVID-19 death toll in the state represents a roughly 25 percent decrease in the total number of deaths.
Polis said in a statement late last week that his office “applauds efforts to ensure that we are as transparent as possible with our reporting and therefore fully supports efforts by CDPHE to specify how many deaths are specifically due to COVID-19 and not just specific to CDC guidelines that include people who died with Coronavirus but not necessarily from it.”
On Sunday, Wallace asked Polis, “Finally, your state just changed the way that you count COVID deaths. And as a result, you lowered the total in Colorado from about 1,100 to 878. One, why did you change that process of how you count them, the criteria for that? And, two, do you think the number of deaths should be a political issue, as it seems to be becoming?”
“No, in fact, one of the reasons that we wanted to make sure we reported it out in a better way is to inspire confidence so that it wouldn’t be politicized, Chris. These are deaths that should not be politicized,” Polis responded. “The CDC criteria included anybody who has died with COVID-19. What the people of Colorado and the people of the country want to know is how many people died of COVID-19.”
“In our state about 900 have died from COVID-19, on their death certificate, or from the attending physician. About 1,100 have died with it. Those 200 in the middle, it might have been a contributing factor, but it wasn’t deemed the sole factor or the only factor in their death,” Polis continued. “I also want to point out, Chris, that, of course, there’s likely cases that should be counted as COVID deaths that people have missed, doctors have missed. There’s probably some of those as well. But the numbers are all fairly close, whether it’s 900 or 1,100 in our state, you know, a few 100,000 across the world.”
Polis concluded, “We know that this can kill people of all ages; it’s particularly dangerous for people in their 70s and 80s and those with pre-existing conditions. But it’s a bad bug.”
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