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Kansas audit says COVID top cause of death; GOP suspicious

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Kansas state Sen. Mike Thompson, R-Shawnee, follows a discussion during a meeting of the committee that oversees the work of the Legislature’s auditing division, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Thompson is skeptical of statistics on COVID-19 deaths in Kansas and wants an examination of how doctors and medical examiners conclude a death is caused by the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A legislative audit says COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in Kansas during the last four months of 2020. The report Tuesday prompted Republican lawmakers to call for more investigation of the numbers based on unsubstantiated theories that they could have been inflated.

The short report from the GOP-controlled Legislature’s auditing division said COVID-19 caused more than 2,500 deaths during those four months, surpassing deaths from each of the traditional top 10 causes.

But Republican Sens. Caryn Tyson of Parker and Mike Thompson of Shawnee said they want more information about how doctors and medical examiners have concluded that COVID-19 is the underlying cause of a death.

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