Conspiracy theories have spread across social media since COVID-19 hit America that doctors, hospital and nursing home administrators, and medical examiners are adding COVID-19 as the primary cause or a contributing factor on death certificates based solely on a positive test result.
But while Dr. Greg Hess of the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner insists that's not the case in his county, at least one public health official revealed earlier this month that some bureaucrats appear to be cooking the COVID-19 books in Maricopa County.
On Aug. 19, Rebecca Sunenshine took part in live streamed press conference to discuss Maricopa County's COVID-19 statistics for July. And she admitted that the overall number of deaths in Maricopa County attributed to the virus has nothing to do solely with a deceased's cause of death.
Sunenshine, the county's Medical Director of Disease Control, stated that Maricopa County's COVID-19 death count includes people who tested positive days, sometimes weeks, prior to dying, despite a lack of any medical evidence that the coronavirus played a role in the person's death.
"Even if it's not listed on their death certificate, anyone who has a COVID-19 positive test within a certain period of when they died is also counted as a COVID-19 positive death," she said.