by Andrew Kerr
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul disclosed on her first day in office nearly 12,000 COVID-19 deaths that were previously unreported in the state’s data tracker during former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration.
The New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 data tracker reported Wednesday nearly 55,395 virus deaths in the state reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the start of the pandemic, just under 12,000 more than the roughly 43,400 COVID-19 deaths disclosed in the state-managed tracker on Cuomo’s last day in office.
The discrepancy results from the Cuomo administration’s decision to report only laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in which patients died at hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities. The Cuomo administration’s tally deliberately excluded New Yorkers who died from COVID-19 at their homes, hospices, state prisons or state-run homes for those with disabilities.
While underreporting virus deaths to the public through the state tracker, the Cuomo administration provided full fatality figures to the CDC based on death certificates listing COVID-19 as a cause contributing to death, regardless of where people died.
The Cuomo administration previously defended its decision to obscure the full COVID-19 fatality figures from its state-managed data, saying the public could seek out the CDC for a more thorough accounting.
“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 said on MSNBC on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. “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.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation first reported in April 2020 that the Cuomo administration omitted information from nursing home reports, and the Cuomo administration confirmed in January that it undercounted nursing home deaths in the state by over 4,200.
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Andrew Kerr is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Kathy Hochul” by KC Kratt CC BY-SA 4.0.