NY leads nation in "excess deaths" in pandemic, thanks to poor leadership

A study released May 15 by the city’s Department of Health provides the data but has attracted remarkably little notice. It shows that 32,000 people died in New York City between March 11 and May 2 — a period that captures the epidemic’s peak and most of its toll. In typical times, there are some 8,000 New York City deaths between those dates. That means there were 24,000 excess deaths, of which only 14,000 were confirmed as COVID-19…

Another explanation is that New York is unique in America in its population density and reliance on public transportation. True, but Hong Kong — almost as dense and adjacent to mainland China, where the virus originated — has reported only four COVID-19 fatalities in a population of 7.5 million.

A more credible explanation is the incompetence of our state and local governments. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city Health Department were reportedly at loggerheads as the crisis unfolded.

Their shutdown orders came too late, after a few critical weeks when the disease was being transmitted exponentially. Compounding the error, the New York State Department of Health ordered the transfer of some 4,300 COVID-19 patients from hospitals to nursing homes. This exposed the oldest, frailest and most vulnerable to the virus.