In her first address to the people of New York, Governor Kathy Hochul said that one of the hallmarks of her administration will be an “era of transparency.” Not long after, her office released updated COVID-19 data that included thousands of deaths that weren’t in the tally provided by her predecessor Andrew Cuomo.
In the Cuomo administration’s last public update on the pandemic from Monday, the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the state was listed at 43,404. But just a day later, Hochul’s team provided much different data.
In Tuesday’s update, the governor’s office said that 11 new deaths were reported from medical facilities through HERDS, or the Health Electronic Response Data System. That brings the total number of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in hospitals, adult-care facilities, and nursing homes to 43,415. But the Hochul administration also included a new figure: the total number of deaths “reported to and compiled by the CDC.”
This number was based on “provisional death certificate data” reported to the CDC by the state Health Department and New York City. Unlike HERDS, it also includes patients who died in hospice, at home, and at any other setting. When tallied up, that figure comes out to 55,395, a difference of nearly 12,000.
The Cuomo administration has previously faced accusations of downplaying the number of coronavirus deaths that occurred in state-run nursing homes, prompting investigations from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the FBI. Those probes appear to be ongoing.