A Colorado man who died of alcohol poisoning was reportedly added to the state’s official coronavirus death toll by health officials.
Thirty-five-year-old Sebastian Yellow died earlier this month with a blood alcohol concentration of .55, more than twice the lethal threshold, according to a report Thursday from CBS4 in Denver. Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers told CBS4 that he saw “no reason” for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to claim Yellow died from coronavirus. (RELATED: NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls)
Yellow’s death is not the only one in Colorado “raising eyebrows,” according to the report.
“Last month, a CBS4 Investigation revealed the state health department reclassified three deaths at a Centennial nursing home as COVID-19 deaths, despite the fact attending physicians ruled all three were not related to coronavirus,” the report stated. “In each case, the residents had tested positive for COVID-19, but in each case, on-scene doctors ruled the deaths were not related to the virus.”
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 #COVID19 death, raising many questions. Our @CBSDenver report:https://t.co/w5dHyT24wk pic.twitter.com/viEClhYeBX
— Brian Maass (@Briancbs4) May 15, 2020
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, official death tolls provided by state, local, and federal governments have faced accuracy concerns. Two-thirds of Americans doubt the country’s official coronavirus death toll, with Republicans and Democrats generally divided over whether deaths are being overcounted or undercounted, according to an Axios poll published earlier in May. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Jan. 21 Fauci Says Coronavirus ‘Not A Major Threat’ To The U.S.)
Among those who believe deaths are being overcounted reportedly include President Donald Trump and White House coronavirus task force Dr. Deborah Birx. Both Trump and Birx have reportedly urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rework their death numbers, with Birx allegedly urging the agency to exclude deaths of individuals who have not tested positive for the virus.
Birx criticized CDC Director Robert Redfield during a heated task force meeting, telling him “there is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,” according to a Washington Post report published earlier in May.