Today, officials at the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that, as the Freedom Foundation reported on Monday, the state is counting in its COVID-19 death total the deaths of persons who tested positive for the virus but died from other causes.
In remarks made during a telephonic press briefing, DOH officials even acknowledged knowingly including multiple deaths caused by gunshot wounds in the state’s COVID-19 fatality count.
The Freedom Foundation’s original report, based on DOH documents and statements provided to the Foundation, concluded that, of the 828 COVID-19 deaths reported as of May 8:
- 681 (82 percent) “list some variation of ‘COVID-19’ in one of the causes of death” on the death certificate;
- 41 (5 percent) of the death certificates do not list COVID-19 as a cause of death, but indicate it was a “significant condition contributing to death.”
- 106 (13 percent) deaths involved persons who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 but did not have the virus listed anywhere on their death certificate as either causing or contributing to death…
“We don’t always know the cause of death for a death when it is first reported on our dashboard. That is true. Over the course of the outbreak, we have been monitoring and recording the causes of death as we know it. We currently do have some deaths that are being reported that are clearly from other causes. We have about five deaths — less than five deaths — that we know of that are related to obvious other causes. In this case, they are from gunshot wounds.”