„You know, comrades, that Konstantin Ustinovich has been gravely ill for a long time, and has been in the hospital in recent months. On the part of the Fourth Main Department, all necessary measures were taken in order to treat Konstantin Ustinovich. But the illness did not submit to the cure, it started to weaken his systems first slowly, and then faster and faster. It became especially aggravated as a result of pneumonia in both lungs, which Konstantin Ustinovich developed during his vacation in Kislovodsk. There were periods when we succeeded in alleviating the lung and heart insufficiencies, and during those periods Konstantin Ustinovich found enough strength to come to work. Several times he conducted Politburo sessions, and put in work days, although shortened ones. Emphysema of the lungs and the aggravated lung and heart insufficiency had worsened significantly in the last two or three weeks. Another, accompanying illness had developed—chronic hepatitis, i. e. liver failure with its transformation into cirrhosis. The cirrhosis of the liver and the worsening dystrophic changes in the organs and tissues led to the situation where not with standing intensive therapy, which was administered actively on a daily basis, the state of his health gradually deteriorated. On March 10 at 3:00 p. m., Konstantin Ustinovich lost consciousness, and at 19:20 death occurred as a result of heart failure.“
— Konstantin Chernenko
Yevgeni Chazov, spoken in a special session of the Central Committee one day after Chernenko died.