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Hochul: Truth Is New York Saw Another 12K COVID Deaths

She ups New York's total from the 43K deaths Cuomo reported as of Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2021 10:50 AM CDT
Hochul: Truth Is New York Saw Another 12K COVID Deaths
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul arrives to a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol on Tuesday in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

(Newser) – New York Gov. Kathy Hochul promised more government transparency on her first day in office, and her administration quickly delivered it by acknowledging nearly 12,000 more deaths in the state from COVID-19 than had been publicized by her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. New York now reports nearly 55,400 people have died of COVID-19 in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the CDC, up from about 43,400 that Gov. Cuomo had reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office, reports the AP.

  • Hochul: "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 Wednesday on MSNBC. "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."
  • Hochul, II: "There are presumed and confirmed deaths. People should know both," Hochul said in a Wednesday morning appearance on NPR. "Also, as of yesterday, we're using CDC numbers, which will be consistent. And so there's no opportunity for us to mask those numbers, nor do I want to mask those numbers. The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what's happening. And that's whether it's good or bad."

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  • Behind the discrepancy: The count used by Cuomo in his news media briefings only included laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported through a state system that collects data from hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities. That meant the tally excluded people who died at home, in hospice, in state prisons, or at state-run homes for people living with disabilities. It also excluded people who likely died of COVID-19 but never got a positive test to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Cuomo: The state, under Cuomo, had minimized its toll of nursing home residents' deaths by excluding all patients who died after being transferred to hospitals. Cuomo used those lower numbers last year to erroneously claim that New York was seeing a much smaller percentage of nursing home residents dying of COVID-19 than other states. The state Assembly Judiciary Committee has been investigating that issue as part of a wide-ranging impeachment probe, and is weighing whether to include those findings in a public report.
(Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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