The Washington Examiner reported on Sunday that a 23-year veteran detective with the New York City Police Department has succumbed to the coronavirus.
“We have lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said as he announced the death of Detective Cedric Dixon at a press conference, according to the Examiner. The longtime officer had been hospitalized late last week and was said to suffer from underlying health issues.
“As I stand here, I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling, what the families of these three heroes are feeling,” Shea said. “We are hurting. We are crying. And we continue to fight.”
Dixon isn’t the first person employed by the NYPD to be killed by COVID-19; three others who worked for the department have also passed away from the disease. Civilian employee Giacomina Barr-Brown died last Thursday, while janitor Dennis Dickson’s death occurred just a day later.
More than 500 NYPD employees have tested positive for coronavirus thus far, while some 4,000 officers and civilian workers within the department have called in sick over the past week, according to the Washington Examiner.
New York City has become the nation’s undisputed coronavirus epicenter, with 790 reported deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Major urban centers including Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans are also on track to see significant increases in COVID-19 cases in the coming days, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says, according to Newsweek.
De Blasio’s dangerous advice
For his part, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come under increasing fire for previous comments in which he downplayed the danger of the coronavirus and told people to go about their lives and activities as they normally would as recently as early March, according to the Daily Caller.
“Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives [and] get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions,” the mayor tweeted on March 2, even offering some movie recommendations of his own, according to the New York Post.
During a Monday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, De Blasio appeared to resent being questioned about his previous advice.
“Everyone was working with the information we had, and trying of course to avoid panic,” he told Tapper when he was reminded of his words of just a few short weeks ago, adding:
The bottom line is none of us have time to look backwards. I’m trying to figure out how we get through next Sunday, and what we do the week after that.
Seems like de Blasio is eager for the world to quickly forget the extraordinarily dangerous guidance he provided his millions of constituents.