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DA's office finds no proof of state health department altering COVID-19 death certificates

DA George Brauchler said there is no evidence to support GOP Rep. Mark Baisley's claim that Colorado’s public health leaders altered COVID-19 death certificates.

DENVER — District Attorney George Brauchler announced Tuesday that he has found no evidence to support claims by a Republican lawmaker that the state health department in Colorado changed death certificates to make it seem like more people are dying of COVID-19. 

State Rep. Mark Baisely (R-Roxborough Park) had pointed to a letter sent out by the Someren Glen care facility in Centennial last month, which said the state altered death certificates of residents of Centennial. 

WATCH ABOVE: CDPHE says the department has not altered death certificates.

Baisley issued a formal letter to Brauchler requesting an investigation and criminal charges against the head of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). 

"The bottom line up front: We have found no evidence of criminal violations based upon our investigation of your inquiry," DA Brauchler wrote in letter to Rep. Baisely on Monday. 

The Centennial facility's letter said CPDHE had overruled the cause-of-death findings by attending physicians in order to list seven deaths as being caused by COVID-19.

CDPHE had adamantly denied that it changed death certificates or directed coroners to complete death certificates to any cause of death other than what they have determined as their best medical judgment and opinion.

"Every physician confirmed the accuracy of the cause of death reflected on the official death certificate on file with the state registrar," the letter says. 

Last month, the state began publicly categorizing deaths related to COVID-19 in two ways: people who died from COVID-19, and people who died with COVID-19, but their death was caused by something else.

"In general, when we have an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 just prior to their death or after their death, that is considered a death among a case of COVID-19," state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said. In other words, it was classified in the category of people who died with the disease, not because of it.

"Since I have found insufficient evidence of death certificates being falsely made or altered, there are no criminal charges or additional investigation warranted at this time," Brauchler said. 

RELATED: 'Unequivocally no': Colorado says state has not changed death certificates during pandemic

RELATED: GOP rep alleges falsified COVID-19 records, calls for indictment of Colorado’s top health official

RELATED: Republican lawmaker does not have proof CDPHE knowingly falsified death certificates

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