The de Blasio administration updated online records about Coronavirus variants on Sunday, but the newly-released trend and cumulative data for various strains don’t add up.
By Progress New York Staff
Updated 17 May 2021 08:50 The Municipal Agency tasked with ensuring public health, NYC Health, released on Sunday a long-awaited update to Coronavirus variants sequencing that revealed, for the first time, the presence in New York City of the B.1.617 strain that appeared to originate in India and that has been ravaging that Asian nation. Not only did the update report, for data pulled from the GISAID database as of May 11, disclose the first cases of the B.1.617 variant in New York City, but the report also made retroactive disclosures, showing that the strain was first detected in COVID-19 cases from sequencing of specimens collected from April 5 – 11.
Notwithstanding the disclosures, the trend data and the cumulative data don’t add up. In the cumulative table, the B.1.617.2 strain showed 12 cases, whereas the trend table showed 16 cases for the most current week. Furthermore, the sample size was the second-lowest and less than half of recent peaks in March, according to the report’s figures. The press office supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio (WFP-New York City) did not immediately answer a media request to offer explanations.
As reported by Progress New York, the de Blasio administration has for several days refused to account for the missing data.
.@NYCMayor .@NYCMayorsOffice .@DrJayVarma .@NYCHealthCommr What a mess! Care to explain why the data drop on a Sunday afternoon, just how much B1617 is ACTUALLY in NYC and what P.1 increasing to 5.9% of new cases in NYC means going forward? https://t.co/e13usp39iU
— rbe (@perdidostschool) May 16, 2021
The delayed release of New York City variants also showed that the P.1 strain was detected in 5,9 per cent. of COVID-19 cases.
For the week of April 26-May 2, the P.1 variant, first detected in Brasil in 2020, was observed in 5,9 per cent. of COVID-19 cases, as noted in a social media post. The rate of detection has been steadily increasing since early March. The upward trend in that strain has been happening as New York City residents have increasingly received vaccinations against the Coronavirus.
Separately, the number of cases of the B.1.526 strain subclassified as S:E484K+ plunged from 229 in the May 4 report to 34 in the May 11 report for the week of April 19-25 without explanation. The change was first observed on social media.
As reported by Progress New York, it not known why Mayor de Blasio hasn’t faced a Federal inquiry over apparent violations of open records laws, even when they may be detrimental to public health. The press office supporting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, whose office would have jurisdiction, have again refused to answer questions submitted in advance for this report.