New York governor Kathy Hochul’s administration on Wednesday reported close to 12,000 additional coronavirus deaths that were unacknowledged by predecessor Andrew Cuomo.
Around 54,000 people died of COVID-19 in New York since the start of the pandemic through July, according to data the state provided to the federal government. However, in press releases and updates, the state’s Department of Health reported just 43,000 COVID-19 deaths, a discrepancy first reported by the Associated Press in July.
As of Wednesday, the Hochul administration updated the state’s reported death toll to align with data provided to the federal government. New York now reports 55,400 deaths from COVID-19.
“We’re now releasing more data than had been released before publicly, so people know the nursing home deaths and the hospital deaths are consistent with what’s being displayed by the CDC,” Hochul told MSNBC on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of things that weren’t happening and I’m going to make them happen. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.”
Cuomo resigned on Monday following a report by New York attorney general Letitia James detailing allegations of sexual harassment against the former governor. Cuomo and his administration also faced scrutiny for allegedly underreporting the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes during the first several months of the pandemic.
After James issued a report in January alleging that New York may have undercounted deaths in nursing homes by up to 50 percent, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker released a more complete account of the death toll.