Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul speaks while visiting Louis Armstrong New York City Public School 143 in New York City on August 18, 2021.
David ‘Dee’ Delgado | Reuters
New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s new administration has recognized nearly 12,000 more deaths from the coronavirus than have been publicly reported by its predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, as part of a push to share more complete data on to the balance of the pandemic in its state.
The governor’s office included a count of 55,395 Covid deaths in the Empire State – the count of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – in a press release Tuesday evening.
This figure compiles deaths from the virus everywhere in New York. It is significantly higher than the 43,415 deaths reported by the Hospital Emergency Response Data System, or HERDS, which counts only deaths reported from hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities.
The second lower count, which omits Covid deaths occurring in other settings such as homes or hospices, was presented to the public and on the website of the state health department under Cuomo.
Cuomo has been under fire for advertising the most conservative figure, even when the New York City count of Covid deaths corresponds to the CDC.
Hochul’s office Tuesday included both figures with an explanation for each. She took office a day earlier after Cuomo resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal.
In an interview Wednesday morning, the new governor said his administration will use CDC figures as part of a push for increased transparency after it took over from Cuomo. His administration has been accused of undercutting Covid’s deaths in nursing homes by up to 50%.
“Since yesterday, we have used CDC numbers that will be consistent,” Hochul told NPR. “So, there’s no opportunity for us to mask these numbers, nor do we want to mask these numbers.”
“I’m going to take an approach that’s very different,” the governor told MSNBC separately. “Transparency as of today, we now publish more data than was previously published publicly, so people know that nursing home deaths and hospital deaths are consistent with what is being shown by the CDC. “.
“There are a lot of things that didn’t happen and I’m going to make that happen,” he said. “Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.”