Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, pushed back against the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s coronavirus death counts after his own state's health department acknowledged its death numbers had been inflated and lowered death toll by nearly 300, as reported by Fox News.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment noted last Friday that the state would remarkably change the way it counts the COVID-19 death number. According to the new policy, Colorado lowered the state's coronavirus deaths from 1,150 to 878, as the CDC's official death number actually includes people who had COVID-19 but died from 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 Fox News Sunday.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who is the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, also told local media that "there is nothing from the CDC that I can trust."
However, at the same time, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the U.S., stated during testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday that he thought the true COVID-19 death toll is "almost certainly higher" than being reported officially.
Although there remain the discrepancies, Polis said he does not want this to become a political issue. "These are deaths that should not be politicized," Polis said, adding that one of the reasons that they want to make sure the true number of COVID-19 deaths was to give the public more confidence so that it would not be politicized.