GRAND COUNTY, CO – A Colorado coroner is worried that states across the country may be unintentionally inflating their fatality figures from COVID-19 deaths based on a victim dying while having been diagnosed with COVID, but the actual cause of death was not virus related, a discrepancy she says is in some instances, completely unrelated to natural causes. Brenda Bock, who has been a coroner for 33 years, explained to OAN News, she worries that states like hers are experiencing inflated numbers from the practice.
Bock, who also spoke with The Denver Gazette by CBS Denver, told reporters that the state classifies COVID-19 deaths in two ways, Deaths caused by COVID-19 where it was the underlying cause, or Deaths among people who died “with” COVID-19, where there was a positive test, but it wasn’t listed as a “cause of death” – both classifications still go toward the county’s COVID related death count.
“These two people had tested positive for COVID, but that’s not what killed them. The gunshot wound killed them and it’s very misleading for you to put numbers out there saying these people died from COVID when that’s not what they died from,” said Coroner Brenda Bock.
Currently, Colorado has five deaths from COVID-19 listed in Grand County, while the Grand County website shows just one from COVID and one with COVID.
The State of Florida had its own problem discovered in Palm Beach County back in July, also from a CBS News Investigation, that found a suicide and a fall listed as COVID deaths as well as eight other cases in which the person died from something else.
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Bock also explained that the misclassification can effect families even financially when it comes to life insurance as many accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies pay out only in certain instances of death by accident, but not for natural causes, or pay a reduced amount.
More information on classification can be found at the CDC website on “Understanding the Numbers: Provisional Death Counts and COVID-19,” here: cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/covid-19.htm#understanding-the-numbers.