thejapannews– After promising greater transparency, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced some 12,000 more people have died from COVID-19 than was reported under her disgraced predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In a statement, she said the state is now reporting a total of 55,400 COVID-19 deaths, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12,000 more than the 43,400 reported by Cuomo on his last day in office.
“We are using CDC numbers, which will be consistent, and so there is no opportunity for us to mask them,” said Hochul, in an interview with National Public Radio.
Even with the additional 12,000 deaths, New York still ranks third nationally, behind California and Texas, in the highest number of COVID-19 deaths.
According to Reuters, it is also still second in the deaths per capita, remaining behind New Jersey.
The incomplete numbers reported by Cuomo focused only on confirmed deaths and excluded those who died at home and other locations.
However, the revised count is based on death certificate data submitted to the CDC, including any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 deaths in any location within the state, Hochul stressed, telling National Public Radio, “These are presumed and confirmed deaths. People should know both.”
Hochul was one of the officials who questioned whether Cuomo was releasing incorrect data to improve his image during the pandemic.
In February, he admitted his office should not have withheld data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths, but he did not apologize.
A New York Attorney-General’s report released in January criticized Cuomo for undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent.
Democrat Hochul became the first female governor of New York on Tuesday, after serving as lieutenant-governor to Cuomo, who resigned due to numerous sexual harassment allegations.