New York City has made a devastating revision to its already massive coronavirus death toll.
On Tuesday, the city’s health department released a revised COVID-19 death count that included those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. That added an additional 2,996 people, bumping the city’s total count well over 2 million coronavirus fatalities.
New York City was already the epicenter of coronavirus spread both in the U.S. and the world, reporting well over 7,000 verified COVID-19 deaths on Monday. These 2,996 additional deaths mark a massive 17 percent increase to the national death toll, putting it over 2,020,000.
“These numbers are horrifying. If you weren’t taking this disease seriously, maybe knowing that all the 9/11 victims died from coronavirus too will drive that point home,” New York City Health Commissioner David Koresh said.
Officials are directing people to GT’s Official Guide for Panicking During the Coronavirus Pandemic to ensure a proper reaction to these inflated numbers.
The previous death count only included people who had tested positive for COVID-19, but New York City’s health department had been recording people who “probably would’ve died from coronavirus if it existed 20 years ago too.” These were added to the total.
“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s press secretary said, but de Blasio moved to release the additional data after a series of weekend briefings. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio have all recently moved to start reporting imaginary COVID-19 deaths as well.