UPDATED 5:40 PM PT – Thursday, December 17, 2020
As the number of coronavirus deaths continues to grow, one coroner said many of the deaths listed are actually not from COVID-19 at all.
Brenda Bock, a coroner in Grand County, Colorado, said her jurisdiction lists five coronavirus deaths. However, as Bock tells One America News, what the data does not reveal is that two of the victims actually died of gunshot wounds.
“They were actually gunshot wounds,” Bock stated of the deaths. “The people had tested earlier in the month for COVID and because they did have COVID, our state health department is listing them as coronavirus deaths.”
She added it is absurd these cases are listed as such. Bock also noted inflating the data will only hurt communities by driving away visitors and instilling fear in residents.
“When you start jacking up the numbers for death rates,” Bock said. “They’re going to start closing counties down.”
Bock mentioned this isn’t just a statewide issue.
“I think this is something that’s happened nationwide,” the Grand County coroner stated. “I have heard back from coroners in other counties that they’re doing the same thing, even with motor vehicle accidents.”
She noted if patients had been tested for coronavirus within 30 days of their death, the county lists them as COVID-19 deaths.
Misreporting a person’s cause of death can bring up challenges for the victim’s family. As Bock explained, it can change the amount their life insurance provider is obligated to pay to the victim’s spouse and/or children.
“If you die of a motor vehicle accident, that’s considered an accident, but a COVID death is considered a natural death,” Bock said. “If you have a life insurance policy that pays double for an accident…but when it is classified as a COVID death…now you have attorneys and insurance companies disputing the deaths.”
In the meantime, states across the country are reimposing lockdown orders by citing a rising number of coronavirus cases. Bock urges others in her position to step forward and speak up in hopes of bringing awareness to this issue.
“I think more coroners just need to step up to the plate,” Bock mentioned. “And talk about this.”