ALBANY, N.Y. — New York governor Kathy Hochul promised more government transparency on her first day in office, and by day’s end, her administration 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 55,395 people have died of COVID-19 in the state based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up from the roughly 43,400 that Gov. Cuomo had reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.
Hochul addressed the subject while appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday.
"Transparency starting just today, 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," said Hochul. "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. It's not hard to do, you just get the information out there and address them."
The new governor’s move follows reporting by The Associated Press in July about the Cuomo administration’s use of a much stricter definition of COVID-19 than other populous states hit by the pandemic.
Cuomo’s time as governor ended at midnight on August 24. He resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Hours before he officially left office, Cuomo granted clemency to six people, including convicted murderers.
Cuomo commuted the sentences of convicted murderers Greg Mingo, Robert Ehrenberg, Ulysses Boyd, and Paul Clark. He also referred David Gilbert, who was convicted of murder and robbery in 1983, to the parole board for possible release.
Gilbert is serving a life sentence for his role in a $1.6 million armored truck robbery that left a guard and two police officers dead, The Associated Press reported.
Cuomo also granted Lawrence Penn a full pardon. He pleaded guilty to falsifying business records in 2015.