New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned on Wednesday that the city’s actual death toll from the COVID-19 outbreak is much higher than official numbers show because many people die from the illness at home rather than the hospital.
“We’re talking about something like 100, 200 people per day,” he told CNN anchor John Berman. “Think of what this means for the families, think of the pain they’re going through. There’s no question the coronavirus is driving it.”
The mayor urged people to take the disease seriously because “the real death toll” is “even higher” than the 3,500 figure reported by the New York City Health Department based on hospital and lab data.
“We’ve got to realize just how destructive this is,” he said.
WNYC reported on Wednesday that the city’s health department will begin recording deaths of suspected coronavirus in people who passed away in their homes.
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the NYC Health Department are working together to include into their reports deaths that may be linked to COVID but not lab confirmed that occur at home,” department spokesperson Stephanie Buhle told Gothamist.
Watch de Blasio:
Bill de Blasio says 100-200 people are dying from COVID-19 per day at home. pic.twitter.com/xpNldGHQSX
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 8, 2020