If a national catastrophe isn’t bad enough, make it worse.
That appears to be the thinking behind a decision by New York City officials this week that sent the number of dead attributed to the coronavirus outbreak in the city soaring to more than 10,000 — a 57 percent increase over the previous count.
And these are numbers Americans are supposed to trust forevermore.
Unfortunately, in a United States where the mainstream media daily shows itself to be ever more corrupt, trust is in short supply.
According to The New York Times, New York City’s death count attributed to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was a disastrous 6,589 on Tuesday, before NYC officials announced a decision that increased the death toll by more than half.
A number of fatalities more than double the deaths that took place in the 9/11 attacks is bad, but clearly not bad enough for the regime of leftist Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, which decided to add more than 3,700 deaths that might have been caused by the coronavirus, though no tests could prove it.
The added deaths — 3,778, according to Bloomberg — not only increased the number in New York City, of course.
They also sent the national death toll to more than 26,000, an increase of 17 percent, The Times reported.
Now, there’s no doubt at least some of those deaths could be attributed to COVID-19 since, as Bloomberg reported, the deceased showed symptoms including coughing, shortness of breath and fever, hallmarks of the deadly infection. That doesn’t mean all of them should be counted that way.
It’s an artificial number, serving a need that’s very real to Democrats and the mainstream media.
In a nutshell, there’s no doubt that inflated COVID-19 numbers will end up being used as a weapon against President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
As distasteful as the idea is, it wouldn’t be the first time magically inflated death counts from a national tragedy will have been used by the president’s opponents in the Democratic Party and the mainstream media (at the risk of redundancy) to attack the Trump administration.
As The Times article itself noted, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot recalled a somewhat similar count revision related to the deaths caused by Hurricane Maria’s strike on the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017.
In that case, the death toll went from 64, a figure that was accepted for almost a year, to almost 3,000, according to an estimate accepted by the Puerto Rican government in August 2018.
The reason? Studies had determined that “excess deaths” on Puerto Rico in the four months after the hurricane struck should be attributed to conditions on the island caused by the storm, according to CBS News. Hence, a death toll that was tragic, but small, became a death toll to rival 9/11.
Again, it’s possible that some of the 2,975 deaths attributed to Maria were actually caused by the storm, at least indirectly. But it’s more than possible that certain political and media institutions that are inextricably allied had a reason to push the higher number.
And it just happened to be right before the 2018 midterm elections when Democrats wanted every weapon they could get to try to take control of the House of Representatives and launch the impeachment proceedings their base had been dreaming of since November 2016.
With Trump himself on the ballot in 2020, that Democratic drive to get out the vote is only going to be stronger — and if that means conjuring up thousands of corpses caused by the coronavirus, Nancy Pelosi & Co. are not above playing games like that.
That’s not to mention the amount of federal aid that will be coming to affected cities — money that will no doubt be increased with the size of the tragedy affecting individual locations. Again, it’s distasteful, it’s crass, but it’s a fact — the worse off a city can look, the better it can do.
And that’s just in New York. As the incomparable Andrew McCarthy pointed out at National Review on Wednesday, it could happen everywhere else in the country where the coronavirus has exacted a heavy toll.
“And if the Big Apple is going to cook the books this way, what is to stop Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and the rest?” McCarthy wrote.