As health officials and state and local leaders across the country continue to point to rising COVID-19 death tolls to justify extreme societal restrictions, New York City says the local body count has now topped 10,000 – after NYC officials added an additional 3,700 people who are “presumed” to have died from the virus, but were never tested for it.
The “revised death count” surpassed 10,000 after NYC’s Health Department added another several thousand deceased persons "who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it,” the New York Times reports.
“Three thousand more people died in New York City between March 11 and April 13 than would have been expected during the same time period in an ordinary year, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the commissioner of the city Health Department, said in an interview. While these so-called excess deaths were not explicitly linked to the virus, they might not have happened had the outbreak not occurred, in part because it overwhelmed the normal health care system.”
The report adds that the NYC Health Department has been recording deaths of those who were never tested for the coronavirus, but whose symptoms and medical history were in line with COVID-19, saying those people have now been added to the death count as “presumed” coronavirus fatalities.
Barbot, who was still encouraging people to come out an attend parades and use the city’s subway system in early March, now says the numbers are “accurate and complete” and are “part of the healing process” for New Yorkers.
“What New Yorkers are interested in, and what the country is interested in, is that we have an accurate and complete count,” Dr. Barbot added. “It’s part of the healing process that we’re going to have to go through.”
Along with NYC, Connecticut, Ohio and Delaware have also begun lumping in “presumed” COVID-19 deaths into their overall tally, while other places including Washington state and Louisiana, where outbreaks have been particularly bad, are still only calculating those who died after testing positive for the virus. NYC health officials maintain that the total number of deaths they've reported to the CDC are only for those who were confirmed to have died from the disease.