Died: March 2020
Profession: Anesthesiologist; Pain Specialist
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — As the coronavirus bore down on New York, Dr. Doug Bass’ family begged him to work from home. He refused, pointing to his patients at Phoenix House, a drug and alcohol treatment center where he served as medical director.
“He said he was on the front lines and they needed him,” his brother, Jonathan Bass, told The Associated Press. “Too many people relied on him.”
Bass, 64, died suddenly last month after suffering symptoms commonly caused by coronavirus, including coughing, a fever and severe stomach cramping. That made him possibly the first physician still treating patients in New York City to die from the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Except he wasn’t counted.
It happened so quickly he was never tested for COVID-19, but his brother believes he was among the hundreds of undiagnosed cases that, for weeks, have been excluded from the official coronavirus death toll.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday the city would begin counting victims like Bass who weren’t tested, including those dying at home whose symptoms fit certain parameters.
“It’s just horrendous. The numbers speak for themselves. This used to be a very, very rare thing in New York City and suddenly it’s jumped up. The only thing that’s changed is COVID- 19,” de Blasio told reporters.