NYC announces 3,700 ‘probable’ new coronavirus deaths – taking the total over 10,000 – after reclassifying victims that are assumed to have been killed by virus but were never tested


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New York City has announced 3,778 additional ‘probable’ deaths attributed to coronavirus, which were never confirmed because no test was administered.
The probably deaths, announced on Tuesday, occurred between March 11 and April 13, and when combined with confirmed deaths take the city’s coronavirus death toll higher than 10,000.
The probable cases would put New York City’s per capita death rate much higher than Italy’s, and increase the national U.S. death toll by roughly 17 percent.
Due to a shortage of test kits, particularly in the early days of the outbreak, not everyone hospitalized in critical condition or found dead at home was able to be tested for the virus. Postmortem tests were often not conducted in order to conserve test resources.
City officials said that the newly announced deaths were ruled probable based on the known symptoms and health histories of the patients who died.
Roughly 60 percent of the probable deaths occurred in hospitals, versus 90 percent for confirmed cases, according to city data.
Eighteen percent of the probable deaths occurred in nursing homes, and 22 percent occurred in private residences, officials said.
Brooklyn had the highest number of probable deaths of the five boroughs, whereas Queens has the highest death toll going by confirmed cases.
As of Tuesday afternoon, New York City’s health department had reported 6,589 coronavirus deaths that were confirmed by a lab test, and more than 100,000 confirmed cases.
The change in the city’s accounting of fatalities came after officials acknowledged that statistics based only on laboratory-confirmed tests were failing to account for many people dying at home before they ever reached a hospital.
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‘Behind every death is a friend, a family member, a loved one. We are focused on ensuring that every New Yorker who died because of COVID-19 gets counted,’ said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
‘While these data reflect the tragic impact that the virus has had on our city, they will also help us to determine the scale and scope of the epidemic and guide us in our decisions.’
New York state officials earlier in the day said 778 deaths were recorded statewide Monday, bringing the statewide total to more than 10,800. That figure, though, did not factor in the probable deaths now being counted in New York City.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo criticized President Donald Trump’s claim of ‘total’ authority to reopen the nation´s virus-stalled economy, saying Tuesday he was talking more like a king than a president.
The Democratic governor criticized Trump´s assertion Monday that ‘when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total.’
‘His proclamation is that he would be king, that´s what a king is,’ Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing. ‘A king has total authority. That statement cannot stand.’
The Republican president made his comments after Cuomo and governors on both coasts announced multi-state compacts to coordinate reopening society amid the global pandemic.
New York has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with more than 200,000 confirmed cases. Cuomo said restarting the economy must be done in a smart, methodical manner or the hard-won gains of the past month could be quickly lost.
In a tweet Tuesday, Trump appeared to liken the governors to mutinous crew members in the movie ‘Munity on the Bounty.’
Cuomo said the president was ‘clearly unhappy.’ But after taking aim at the president’s comments Tuesday in multiple TV appearances and during his state Capitol briefing, Cuomo said he would not engage in a fight with him.
‘The president is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue,’ Cuomo said. ‘This is too important for anyone to play politics.’