Source:  Eric Quintanar

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY) acknowledged Wednesday that an additional 12,000 COVID-19 deaths occurred during the Cuomo administration than were previously reported by the state. 

The update brings New York’s COVID-19 total death toll from 43,400 to 55,400, an increase of more than 25% since Monday’s data, according to the Associated Press. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who stepped down Monday, had been criticized for his lack of transparency on the state’s COVID-19 deaths and his pandemic-era policies.

“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, who served as Cuomo’s little-known lieutenant governor for two terms, told MSNBC on Wednesday. “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 told NPR in an interview Wednesday that she plans to increase transparency to improve the state’s credibility, which took a hit with the Cuomo administration’s scandals, including hiding the data on the number of nursing home deaths.

“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,” she said. “The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what’s happening. That’s whether it’s good or bad. They need to know the truth. And that’s how we restore confidence — when they know that I will always be truthful and very transparent in my approach to government, and not just with respect to nursing homes, every aspect of, of government.”

Hochul assumed office on Tuesday following the resignation of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was found by a state attorney general’s report to have sexually harassed multiple women, including women who worked under him. Cuomo denied wrongdoing, but agreed to resign so that the government could get “back to governing.”

This is a breaking news story, refresh the page for updates.