"We've unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths — six out of 3.3 million people," Desmond explained. "I mean, what number are we trying to get to with those odds? I mean, it's incredible. We want to be safe, and we can do it, but unfortunately, it's more about control than getting the economy going again and keeping people safe."
Desmond was touching on a somewhat controversial, yet obvious fact: the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths are of people with preexisting, underlying health problems.
If the majority of deaths are of people with underlying health conditions, then strict lockdown orders should end, Desmond told the Tribune.
"Any loss of life, for any reason, is worth preventing," he said. "Clearly, those with underlying circumstances are the most vulnerable. I believe we can keep people safe and responsibly open our businesses."
Indeed, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month indicated that more than 90% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City were of patients with underlying health conditions.
The findings indicate what experts already suspected: that the elderly and medically vulnerable are most susceptible to develop serious coronavirus symptoms that warrant hospitalization.