The Corner

Health Care

In New York, COVID-19 Death Toll Surpasses 9/11

A horrible milestone: The coronavirus has now killed more New Yorkers than 9/11. The attack on the World Trade Center killed about 2,700 in New York City and State. The virus has killed 4,758 people in New York State and 2,475 people in New York City, so in the next day or so the city’s virus death toll will surpass its 9/11 mark. Many thousands of deaths are still to come, alas.

On March 11 (the day the virus started to reach a surreal plane and Tom Hanks announced he had contracted it), I asked in a tweet whether fellow New Yorkers were more scared by 9/11 or the virus. The replies were almost unanimous: “Stop taking crazy pills. 9/11 was way worse.” I personally felt more mournful than scared after 9/11; it always seemed really unlikely to me that the terrorists would be able to pull off something of that scale again. I went about my business as usual. To say the least, that is not the case for many New Yorkers these days.

The good news? The daily death toll is down slightly off the peak. Saturday, New York State recorded 630 deaths, which so far is the worst day of the virus. The following two days, that figure was at 594 and 599. The curve is flattening at the moment.

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