An additional 12,000 COVID-related deaths have been added to New York’s state total, following the departure of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo resigned Monday over allegations of sexual harassment by 11 women — allegations he denies.
He was He was succeeded on Tuesday by former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochhol – The first female leader of New York State.
Ms. Hochul told MSNBC that “transparency will be the hallmark of my administration” after taking office.
The comment came after the massive jump in deaths – from 43,400 to 55,400 – which the state administration acknowledges.
This new number was drawn from data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and takes into account death certificates where Corona virus disease mentioned.
Cuomo’s older number included only laboratory-confirmed COVID deaths, from the state’s system that collects data from hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities.
That means the number of people Mr Cuomo told the public had died, excluded those who died at home, in a hospice, in prison or in state-run homes for the disabled.
It also excluded those who may have died from the COVID virus but did not get a test.
“There are presumed and confirmed deaths,” Ms. Hochhol said. “People should know both.”
New York has the third highest total number of COVID deaths in the United States, after California and Texas.
Cuomo’s use of data has previously been scrutinized.
In the early days of the pandemic, the Democrat was praised for his daily briefings, in which he spoke solemnly with the help of presentation slides.
However, critics stated that his use of numbers was called into question, and that he was trying to make himself look better.
It later emerged that the administration had excluded thousands of nursing home residents from the death figures, because they had been hospitalized before they died.
Mr Cuomo used those low numbers to say that New York was not suffering as badly as other states when it came to care homes.
Federal prosecutors have launched investigations into how the Cuomo administration handled the data, and the New York State Assembly’s Judicial Committee has also investigated the matter.
After his decision to step down in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, Mr. Cuomo’s Emmys were withdrawn, and publishers canceled the hard copy work and stopped printing hard copies.