Numerous Texas Sheriffs Vow To Not Enforce ‘Draconian’ Mask Rule

H/T Western Journal.

I applaud these Sheriff’s say they will not enforce these draconian mask laws.

Especially when these masks most people have will not stop the COVID-19 virus.

Sheriffs in nine Texas counties will not enforce the state’s new mask mandate amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, last week ordered masks to be worn in public buildings and outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible, The Texas Tribune reported.

The mask mandate applies to all counties with more than 20 active cases of the coronavirus, but exempts those under the age of 10, those who are eating and those who are exercising.

Fox News reported under the mandate, officers can cite people up to $250 for not wearing a mask if they are repeatedly found to be in violation of the order.

Sheriffs in at least nine counties, however, have announced they will not enforce the mask rule, CBS News reported.

One complaint from some of the sheriffs is that the rule is unenforceable, as it uses ambiguous language about detaining those who do not wear masks in public.

Per the CBS report, a number of the sheriffs feel that merely stopping a person for not wearing a mask is, by definition, a detention.

Law enforcement officers in Denton, Houston, Montgomery, Gillespie, Upshur, Kerr, Gregg, Nacogdoches and Panola counties will disregard the order.

Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree explained his position on the mask mandate in a post on Facebook.

“A week ago they were carrying signs that said F the police, and demanding police be defunded. They were ignoring the Denton curfew order and blocked city streets. Now those same people are mad at me for refusing to enforce the mask mandate issued by the Governor,” Murphree said.

“Their hypocrisy is mind blowing.”

“This is an executive order not a law. Only the legislature can make law. So the accusations that I’m refusing to enforce the law are not true,” the sheriff added.

“The order is not a law, there is no requirement that any police officer enforce it, and it’s unenforceable,” Murphree wrote. “We can’t spend our time running from place to place for calls about mask we can really do nothing about.”

Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi posted about the mask mandate on Twitter, describing it as “draconian.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office also detailed why it would not enforce the mask order in a news release posted on Facebook.

The MCSO said its deputies would take “NO actions” on Abbott’s order.

“This language strips law enforcement of the necessary tools to enforce compliance with the law,” the office added.

“We are in a public health crisis and we will use this opportunity to educate our community while still respecting individual liberties,” the department added.

Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges was among sheriffs who questioned the Constitutionality of a mask mandate.

In a video posted on Facebook, Bridges explained that the new health measures are “borderline infringing on those Constitutional rights.”

Abbott defended the mask mandate during an interview with KDFM-TV.

“Here’s the reality: Every single one of these executive orders that have been issued were done based upon the advice of doctors to ensure that if these executive orders were enforced as local authorities have had the authority to do so, it would stop the spread of the coronavirus, especially this most recent order,” Abbott said.

“If local officials enforce the mask order, it will slow the spread of the coronavirus. They just now need to step up and begin to enforce the orders that are already in place,” the governor added.

Texas health officials reported 10,028 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, KXAS-TV reported.

Colleges Hike Tuition, Slash Classroom Instruction

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

Parents and students are going to realize they do not need to pay the high fees of on-campus education. 

Universities defend price hikes even as they move to online classrooms.

Colleges are hiking the price of tuition and living fees despite a decrease in classroom learning and student services.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), New York University, the University of Southern California (USC), and Indiana University are among several universities raising tuition and other fees in the upcoming academic year. These institutions will raise the cost of tuition and living expenses by an average of $1,511 while minimizing services, amenities, and in-person classroom learning.

Tuition hikes come as universities struggle to adapt to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced schools to send students home from campus and adopt alternative teaching methods. Colleges fear tuition revenue will decrease as they transition to online programming, but students are more concerned that they are paying exorbitant rates with little return.

“As students, we still do not know what classes will be in-person or online,” said UIUC College Republicans president Matthew Krauter. “We do not know what activities the university will offer or what events our student organizations may hold. The decision to raise the cost of tuition and campus life while simultaneously scaling back activities and in-person education is tone-deaf.”

Colleges justify the tuition and fee increase by citing the fixed operation costs and decisions made before the pandemic. UIUC will raise in-state student tuition by 4.5 percent to a minimum of $32,814 and out-of-state tuition will rise by 3.5 percent to $50,604 in the 2020-2021 academic year.

University of Illinois spokesman Jan Dennis told the Washington Free Beacon that the public university—which received $1.9 billion in taxpayer funds in 2019— would not roll back costs, though it is attempting to expand scholarship programs.

“The tuition increase was approved in January, before the pandemic,” Dennis said. “[The University of Illinois] system created a new fund that will provide at least $36 million to help students facing increased financial need due to COVID.”

According to a UIUC press briefing, the university plans to uphold the six-feet social distancing guideline in classrooms, and students will be required to wear masks on campus. But the school is also scaling back the traditional services it provides to students. Residence halls will have limited occupancy, and dining centers will transition to take-out centers. USC announced similar plans in early June, but reversed course on July 1 when it announced a transition to online instruction, citing Los Angeles County health guidelines. A USC spokesman directed the Washington Free Beacon to a university tweet about the Trump administration’s decision to force foreign students to return home if classes do not reconvene in the fall. He refused to answer questions about tuition hikes.

Students are upset with the disconnect—traditional universities have moved online, but still cost far more than existing e-learning programs. At Indiana University, students were told they would be learning almost exclusively online despite the decision by the board of trustees to increase tuition.

“I found out five of my six classes were moved online for the fall, on top of that, my tuition is increasing by more than 5 percent [since 2019],” an IU rising sophomore told the Free Beacon. “This isn’t fair and it’s frustrating for students, like me, who feel web-based learning isn’t sufficient.”

Indiana University did not return a request for comment.

Social factors have long justified the high price tag of a college education. Beth Akers, a higher education expert at the Manhattan Institute, said these changes will force colleges to rethink their purpose.

“The traditional business model of higher [education] has long been a message that by having this immersive, on-campus experience, we’re creating some sort of higher education ‘magic’ that justifies this exorbitant price tag,” Akers said. “COVID has taken away the ability for colleges to offer those things that supposedly make the higher education experience so special, so valuable, and worth these very big price tags.”

NYU has not released an official statement confirming whether classes will reconvene in-person in the fall, although on July 1 the school announced it will still accept deposits for undergraduate housing. The university tells prospective students that they will pay $54,882 in tuition, as well as an estimated $19,244 in room and board next year—up from $53,308 and $18,684 for the 2019-2020 academic year. NYU did not return a request for comment.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty about what revenue will actually look like. That’s because a lot have not made a decision about whether or not to have online or in-person classes,” Akers said. “COVID is adding costs in some instances when they’re choosing to keep campuses open and others when those campuses are closing.” The college business model likely cannot withstand a price reduction in tuition as the coronavirus pandemic affects enrollment. Akers predicts there will be a drop-off in enrollment, particularly among first-year students, which will dramatically impact revenue for these colleges.

Tuition has been rising for decades, based in part on the higher earnings and job prospects that graduates enjoy. Higher education’s primacy in the job market, however, is facing challenges not just from the pandemic, but also from the White House. In June, President Trump issued an executive order to replace college degree-based hiring with skills-based hiring within the federal government. Such an approach could jeopardize a major recruiting tool for America’s colleges.

Inez Stepman, a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum, told the Free Beacon the crash of traditional universities may be exactly what the country needs.

“The university sector, which has long been growing on the tax investment of mechanics, janitors, and the majority of Americans without a four-year degree, may see contractions for the first time in decades,” Stepman said. “Since universities have mostly abandoned their mission to shape thoughtful, informed citizens and have degenerated into activism training camps for the far left, this overdue contraction could have positive effects for the country.”

Terry Crews Stood His Ground Again Over Fourth of July Weekend

H/T Town Hall.

Bravo Terry Crews for standing your ground.

Terry Crews has chosen a hill to die on. It’s not a hill that would normally be controversial, but in the year 2020 everything seems to have a political bent to it. Crews tweeted the fact that there are bad eggs in every race – including white and black. But he will be friends with anyone of any color if they are simply kind people. What he ultimately wants, is harmony.

And the actor says he’s received “threats” for voicing that reasonable opinion.

“It’s an overly simplified message that fails to acknowledge the reality of prejudice in society,” one critic said.

Others just called Crews cruel names such as the “n” word, “Uncle Tom” or “Uncle Terry.”

He had been fielding hateful messages for a few weeks. In early June he tweeted his first “controversial” statement about the state of race relations in America, suggesting that activists not be so hostile toward white people.

People called him “ignorant.” But unlike so many other celebrities bullied into apologizing for harmless remarks, he refused to apologize for his message. In fact, he’s continued to share his common sense, albeit unpopular, sentiments.

“If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed and ideology,” he wrote on the Fourth of July. “We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.”

BLM activists and supporters condemned Crews for “missing the point” about their movement. One woman said Crews was “developing into an enemy of the people.” Another called him “worthless” and said that white people can “have” him. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson came to the actor’s defense, likening Crews’s words to those of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“What did he advocate for? A color-blind society,” Carson said on Fox News. “He said ‘I dream of a time when people will be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.'”

Crews didn’t apologize then, and he certainly won’t apologize now.

Obama Adviser: Gov’t Should Mail Out Masks Instead of Stimulus Checks

H/T Western Journal.

With advisors like this no wonder the Obama economy sucked.

A former Obama White House chief economic adviser said that an effective stimulus plan would be sending Americans masks and ensuring they wear them in a CNBC interview on Thursday.

Jason Furman, who served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2017, said masks can do more for recovery than monetary or fiscal policy in an interview for CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

“A fiscal stimulus plan that would have incredibly high bang for the buck would be for the government to print out masks,” Furman said.

“And mail them out to every American and tell every American to wear them.”

He continued: “There’s really not a lot monetary or fiscal policy can do in the face of an out-of-control virus. A mask is one of the steps that can control that virus.”

“It’s really not hard,” Furman added.

There were more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases by the end of the day on Thursday, according to The New York Times.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas issued a statewide face mask mandate on Thursday as the number of cases in the state continues to increase, according to The Texas Tribune.

California issued a similar order in June.

Several states have experienced surges in cases in the past week, with California, Arizona and Texas reporting new hospitalization highs, according to The Times.

President Donald Trump has shied away from a national face mask mandate.

“I don’t know if you need mandatory, because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance,” Trump said in a Fox Business interview on Wednesday.

 

Here Are the States with the Biggest Health Improvements During the Pandemic

H/T Western Journal.

These facts will never come from the drive-by media.

As many states slowly make decisions to relax social distancing restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers looked at the latest developments in each state to make a list of which ones have seen the biggest health improvements.

The list was compiled by WalletHub in order to determine where in the country Americans’s health is recovering the most, making it safest to reopen.

“Until the potential benefits outweigh the health risks, states will not be able to move to their next phases of reopening, and thus will not see substantial economic growth,” financial writer Adam McCann wrote June 10.

The researchers used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, The COVID Tracking Project and COVID19-projections.com to compare the 50 states and the District of Columbia against 11 key metrics in five overall categories to determine which states were the healthiest.

The five categories were Death Rate This Week, Other Death Rate Metrics, Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate This Week, Other Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate Metrics and Transmission Number.

After each state was ranked, it was categorized into either a positive health category, like the lowest death rate, or a negative health category, like the highest death rate.

Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Montana were the states with the biggest health improvements in terms of low death rates, low positive testing rates and lowest current estimated transmission numbers.

The states with the highest death rates included Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Virginia, Utah, Nebraska, Massachusetts and Arizona had the highest positive test rates in the time period the data encompassed.

The highest COVID-19 current estimated transmission numbers, which approximate the average number of people an infected person will transmit COVID-19 to, were in California, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Minnesota.

Source: WalletHub

Researchers also found that blue states, categorized by how they voted in the 2016 presidential election, have seen the biggest improvements in health, with blue states ranking 25.76 and red states ranking 26.17.

As of Friday, there were over 2.19 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 118,809 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Although the number of cases in many states continues to grow, the death rate has continued to decrease, USA Today reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted Thursday that by July 11, the nationwide death toll from the disease may reach 145,000, according to The Washington Post.

Several states, such as California, are now requiring people to wear face coverings outside of their homes.

“I’m worried that people have kind of accepted where we are as a new normal,” Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, told StatNews.

Yonatan Grad, an infectious disease expert at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health, is worried about the response to the rise in cases in states that have already reopened.

“It’s still not entirely clear to me whether there’s the political and social will that could sustain another round of community lockdown,” Grad said.

“So if not, what are we going to do?” he added.

“And as communities start to open up and go through phase 1, 2, 3 of reopening, what are going to be the triggers for introducing restrictions again, and which restrictions?”

Researchers Announce ‘Major Breakthrough’ That Will Save Lives of Coronavirus Patients

H/T Western Journal.

Why isn’t this making national headlines?

British researchers claim a steroid currently on the drug market could be a life-saving treatment for COVID-19 patients.

In a recent trial, the drug cut the risk of death by about a third for individuals on ventilators.

Deaths of patients on oxygen were cut by a fifth, according to the BBC.

“This is a result that shows that if patients who have COVID-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost,” Oxford University professor Martin Landray, one of the leaders of the drug trial, told Reuters.

“There is a clear, clear benefit,” he told the BBC.

“The treatment is up to 10 days of dexamethasone and it costs about five pounds per patient. So essentially it costs 35 pounds to save a life.

“This is a drug that is globally available.”

“This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality — and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough,” added Peter Horby, the other leading researcher overseeing the trial.

“It is a major breakthrough,” he said.

Do you think this drug can be used on a large scale to defeat the virus?
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In a statement, Horby expanded on the drug’s promise.

“This is an extremely welcome result,” he said.

“The survival benefit is clear and large in those patients who are sick enough to require oxygen treatment, so dexamethasone should now become standard of care in these patients. Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”

“Since the appearance of COVID-19 six months ago, the search has been on for treatments that can improve survival, particularly in the sickest patients,” Landray said in the statement.

“These preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are very clear — dexamethasone  reduces the risk of death among patients with severe respiratory complications. COVID-19 is a global  disease — it is fantastic that the first treatment demonstrated to reduce mortality is one that is instantly available and affordable worldwide.”

In the drug trial, about 2,000 patients were given dexamethasone. Their results were compared more than 4,000 patients who did not get the drug.

The risk of death for people on ventilators dropped from 40 percent to 28 percent, while the risk of death for those on oxygen dropped from 25 percent to 20 percent.

Full details of the trial have yet to be published.

Landray said the drug could be given to hospital patients now, but cautioned that individuals should not stock up and take it at home.

“The first drug proven to cut deaths from COVID-19 is not some new, expensive medicine but an old, cheap-as-chips steroid,” BBC health correspondent Fergus Walsh wrote, noting that the drug has been used since the 1960s to treat rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

“That is something to celebrate because it means patients across the world could benefit immediately. And that is why the top-line results of this trial have been rushed out – because the implications are so huge globally.”

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, more than 8 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, which has led to 437,532 deaths as of Tuesday morning.

Oil Giant BP To Cut 10,000 Jobs Due to COVID-19 Downturn

H/T Western Journal.

Disturbing news indeed.

With crude oil prices this low why are gasoline prices raising?

British petroleum giant BP announced it will cut 10,000 jobs, nearly 15 percent of its workforce, amid low oil prices during the coronavirus pandemic.

BP CEO Bernard Looney said Monday that the company is hemorrhaging cash amid the economic crisis.

“The oil price has plunged well below the level we need to turn a profit. We are spending much, much more than we make – I am talking millions of dollars, every day,″ Looney said in a statement to employees obtained by The Hill.

“We have to spend less money,” he added.

Job cuts will affect all employee levels within the company, including senior management, where a third of positions will be eliminated.

BP is also planning to cut capital expenditures by $3 billion, or 25 percent.

The company, which is one of the largest gas and oil companies in the world, will likely nix cash bonuses for the year and will also freeze salary raises for senior and group leaders.

Looney pledged to protect the company’s employees on the front line of oil production.

“The majority of people affected will be in office-based jobs,” he said in a company note on Monday, explaining that most of the 10,000 employees will leave by the end of the year.

Outgoing employees will receive severance packages in addition to support in the form of job coaching and free laptops.

“I am really sorry that this will hurt a lot of people who I know love this company as much as I do,” he stated.

Looney also spoke about BP’s February announcement that the company had planned to become a net zero emissions company by 2050.

“BP today set a new ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the world get to net zero,” Looney said in February, according to The Guardian.

Looney said in his Monday note that the company would stick by its environmental promises.

“To me, the broader economic picture and our own financial position just reaffirm the need to reinvent bp. While the external environment is driving us to move faster – and perhaps go deeper at this stage than we originally intended – the direction of travel remains the same,” he said.

The news from Looney comes as the oil and gas industry is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. Supply remains low and the price of crude oil first entered negative territory in April, per MarketWatch.

The price of crude sat below $40 per barrel Monday, according to Business Insider.

BP currently employees 70,000 people across 79 countries.

Having Sex With Someone You Don’t Already Live With Now Illegal In Britain Under Coronavirus Laws

H/T Breitbart.

How do our cousins across the pond plan on enforcing this law?

The government has effectively made it illegal for people who don’t already live together to have sex, as that would be considered a “gathering”, and against the coronavirus lockdown social distancing laws.

New amendments to the lockdown law loosen most of the major restrictions than had been put in place in March, including easing restrictions on senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions. Schools can reopen on Monday, and people can gather outside, including in gardens, in numbers of up to six as long as social distancing is still maintained.

But a new line to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Bill adds on Monday: “No person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place indoors, and consists of two or more persons.”

It says elsewhere, according to The Mirror, that “no person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living”.

The law means that both the person visiting and the person whose house is being visited could be fined £100, or £50 if paid within 14 days.

Lawyers went to work on Twitter to discuss the interpretation of the law, with Human rights barrister Adam Wagner writing on Sunday: “I can’t believe I’m about to tweet this. From tomorrow sex between two (or more) people in a private place who do not live in the same household is a ‘gathering’ between 2 or more people and is therefore illegal.”

However, George Pertez QC put forth that if the visitor was a prostitute, then that might be permissible “as that is reasonably necessary for work purposes”.

Breitbart London@BreitbartLondon

Professor Lockdown Resigns After Breaking Own Lockdown Rules to Meet Left-Wing ‘Open Marriage’ Lover: Report https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/05/05/professor-lockdown-quits-after-breaking-own-rules-to-meet-lover/ 

Professor Lockdown Quits After Breaking Own Rules to Meet Lover

The UK scientist whose predictions triggered the lockdown has resigned his govt position after he broke his own rules meet his married lover.

breitbart.com

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Police, however, will not have the power to forcibly enter your home to stop you having intercourse with a lover from another address. A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Metro that police could only enter a property “where they suspect serious criminal activity is taking place under separate and existing laws”. The spokesman added that police would continue “exercising their common sense and engaging with the public”.

The Police Federation of England and Wales had said in April that it wanted increased powers to forcibly enter private houses to see if there were illegal gatherings.

Constabularies and police forces across the country had come under criticism for their tyrannical approach to enforcing the lockdown. Such examples have included pouring black dye into a body of water in a beauty spot to deter swimmers, using a drone to follow dog-walkers, and shaming people for going for a drive out of boredom or families who walked to the shops together.

Last month, the Crown Prosecution Service said that it was going to review every fine and prosecution made under the coronavirus legislation after it was found that the law had been applied either incorrectly or in a heavy-handed manner.

The government’s scientific adviser Neil Ferguson, the author of the UK’s lockdown measures, resigned from his post after it was revealed that he had broken lockdown to have at least two liaisons with his married lover. Police said at the time that they would not be investigating further Mr Ferguson’s lockdown breach.

Breitbart London@BreitbartLondon

Police Hunt Man Dressing as ‘Plague Doctor’ as Lockdown Fines Soar https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/04/30/police-hunt-man-dressing-plague-doctor-walks-lockdown-fines-soar/ 

Police Hunt Man Dressing as ‘Plague Doctor’ as Lockdown Fines Soar

UK police are on the hunt for a man who goes walking dressed as a 17th-century plague doctor, as lockdown measure fines reaches 9,000.

breitbart.com

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Top Italian Doctor Delivers Surprisingly, Good Coronavirus News

H/T Western Journal.

I hope this doctor is correct.

An Italian health official has said the coronavirus is losing its lethal punch.

As of Monday morning, Italy is sixth in the world in COVID-19 cases, at 233,197, according to Johns Hopkins. It ranks third in the world in deaths at 33,475.

“In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy,” Alberto Zangrillo, the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, told Reuters.

The Lombardy region, in which Milan is located, has born the brunt of Italy’s battle with the virus.

“The swabs that were performed over the last 10 days showed a viral load in quantitative terms that was absolutely infinitesimal compared to the ones carried out a month or two months ago,” Zangrillo said.

Cases have also fallen from a peak of 6,600 on March 21 to 333 Sunday.

Italy is on the brink of relaxing the lockdown restrictions it imposed to address the virus.

Zangrillo downplayed fears of a second wave of the virus.

“We’ve got to get back to being a normal country,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility for terrorizing the country.

A government official pushed back against Zangrillo.

“Pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the virus has disappeared … I would invite those who say they are sure of it not to confuse Italians,” Sandra Zampa, a health ministry undersecretary, said in a statement.

“We should instead invite Italians to maintain the maximum caution, maintain physical distancing, avoid large groups, to frequently wash their hands and to wear masks,” she said.

Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization also said new spikes are a real danger.

“When we speak about a second wave classically what we often mean is there will be a first wave of the disease by itself, and then it recurs months later. And that may be a reality for many countries in a number of months’ time,” Ryan said told Reuters.

“But we need also to be cognizant of the fact that the disease can jump up at any time. We cannot make assumptions that just because the disease is on the way down now it is going to keep going down and we are get a number of months to get ready for a second wave. We may get a second peak in this wave,” he added.

Another Italian doctor, however, seconded Zangrillo’s conclusion.

“The strength the virus had two months ago is not the same strength it has today,” Matteo Bassetti, the head of the infectious diseases clinic at Genoa’s San Martino Hospital, said.

“It is clear that today the COVID-19 disease is different,” Bassetti said.

Man Dies with Whopping .55 Blood Alcohol Level, Was Reportedly Listed as a COVID Fatality

H/T Western Journal.

How many Blue States have wrongly reported COVID-19 deaths?

The state of Colorado reportedly added a man who died of acute alcohol poisoning to its coronavirus death toll even before the county coroner could sign his death certificate.

Police in Cortez, Colorado, found Sebastian Yellow dead in Cortez City Park on the morning of May 4, according to KCNC-TV.

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers found that Yellow’s blood alcohol content measured at .55, so he determined that his death was caused by acute alcohol poisoning.

“It was almost double what the minimum lethal amount was in the state,” Deavers said.

Following his death, Yellow tested positive for COVID-19, so the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment categorized his death as one caused by the novel coronavirus, according to Deavers.

“I can see no reason for this,” Deavers told KCNC-TV, adding that he hadn’t even gotten to sign the death certificate before the conclusion was made.

Brian Maass

@Briancbs4

What killed Sebastian Yellow? Coroner says the man drank himself to death with .550 blood alcohol reading-‘ethanol toxicity’ reads death certificate. But @CDPHE has categorized it as a death, raising many questions. Our @CBSDenver report:https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/05/14/coronavirus-montezuma-county-coroner-alcohol-poisoning-covid-death/ 

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“It wasn’t COVID, it was alcohol toxicity,” Deavers said.

 

“Yes, he did have COVID but that is not what took his life.”

This case is just one of many instances that caused Colorado to update its coronavirus death toll, saying that 272 fewer people than originally reported had died from COVID-19.

The CDPHE changed the statistics on May 15.

As of Saturday, the agency’s “case data” website said 1,181 people had died “from COVID-19” and 1,436 people had died “among people with COVID-19.”

Along with the statistics change, the CDPHE said starting May 15, it would report the number of deaths in the two separate categories.

“We have been reporting at the state, deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death and the cause of that death may or not have been COVID-19,” Dr. Eric France, the agency’s chief medical officer, told KDVR at the time.

The discrepancy also came in part because of how the state reports statistics to the federal National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, according to France.

“Having these two systems in place has potentially created some confusion and we apologize for that,” state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said.

The state added that this change “does not unilaterally change information on death certificates and does not question or try to change a physician’s diagnosis or causes-of-death determination.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ office released a statement earlier this month addressing the confusion and changes.

“The Governor 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. What we are seeing today is a reflection of that,” the statement said.

Colorado is not the only state that has had to change its coronavirus death statistics.

Pennsylvania Health Department officials removed over 200 probable deaths from their official tally on April 23 in what they said was an effort to be transparent after state coroners pointed to inconsistencies with the state’s death counts and what they had recorded.