As of this morning, there are around 7,10,272 cases of Covid-19 positive cases in the USA and around 37,175 have lost their lives. 

Out of these, New York alone has more than 1,95,031 cases with over 10,000 deaths. The number accounts for 42% of the 20,000 plus deaths in the US. The mortality rate in New York is 4.7% as compared to 3.4% in the rest of the country.

So why does New York have such high numbers of deaths? 

One of the main reasons is its density. New York is known as the financial capital of the US that has close to 8.6 million inhabitants. 

Hence, there are 10,000 people per square kilometer, making it the densest city in the US. Millions of commuters brush up against each other on its packed subway system every day, while keeping distance on its sometimes narrow sidewalks can be difficult.

Another reason is tourism. NYC gets more than 60 million tourists a year and is the entry point to America for many travellers, meaning anyone carrying the virus is likely to start infecting others there first. 

American geneticists estimate that it started spreading there from Europe in February, before New York’s first confirmed case on March 1.

New York, also known as the Big Apple, is also characterized by massive socio-economic inequality. 

Overcrowded, deprived areas, particularly in the Bronx and Queens, where many people already suffer health problems and lack of medical care are believed to have experienced the highest rate of infections.

Irwin Redlener, public health professor and expert in disaster preparedness at Columbia University believes that New York City had all the preconditions that would support the idea that it was going to be hit very hard.  

On top of this, it is believed that the government waited too long to take the required steps. The Trump administration is blamed for the delay in getting the tests to the states, which to this day are still not arriving in sufficient numbers. 

The virus being asymptomatic makes tests way more important than anything else. And that’s one very important thing that seems to be insufficient.

The New York officials also targeted the federal government for dragging its heels in implementing emergency powers to manufacture lifesaving ventilators. 

With the toll far exceeding the numbers killed on 9/11, Phil Murphy, the governor of neighboring New Jersey, which has also been badly affected, has called for a commission similar to the one set up to investigate the September 11, 2001 attacks to understand the pandemic and its affects better.