New York’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, released data on Tuesday that updated the state’s coronavirus deaths by nearly 12,000.
Hochul, attempting to distance herself from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, submitted additional death certificate data to the New York Department of Health indicating that 55,395 statewide deaths were attributable to COVID-19.
That marked a significant increase from the 43,400 deaths that were reported by Cuomo’s office before he resigned on Monday.
“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’s Morning Joe on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot of things that weren’t happening, and I’m going to make them happen,” she continued. “Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.”
The updated death toll seems to confirm that Cuomo’s administration was intentionally downplaying the number of COVID-19 deaths, specifically those that occurred in the state’s nursing homes.
Cuomo denied that he was under-reporting coronavirus deaths. However, one of his top aides, Melissa DeRosa, admitted in February that Cuomo hid the true nursing-home death toll out of fear of Justice Department investigation during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Several other reports confirmed DeRosa’s admission. In April, Fox News obtained a New York Department of Health document that proved Cuomo’s administration knew the true number of coronavirus deaths even though it claimed not to be tracking them when asked for the total.
Cuomo resigned on Monday in the wake of multiple scandals that culminated in a state investigation that said he sexually harassed at least 11 women, several of whom worked for him. Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing and initially refused to resign until it became clear that state legislators would impeach him.