Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, disclosed that 12,000 more individuals died of COVID-19 than her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.
Hochul has already delivered on her pledge of more transparency after only two days on the job.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latest mortality toll from COVID-19 in New York is 55,400, according to Hochul.
This is up 12,000 from Andrew Cuomo’s reported 43,400 on his last day in office before resigning in disgrace amid a sexual harassment controversy.
“We’re utilizing CDC figures because they’re reliable. As a result, there’s no way for us to hide those figures,” Hochul said on National Public Radio on Wednesday.
Even with the additional 12,000 deaths, New York’s national ranking remains unchanged.
After California and Texas, New York still has the third largest total number of COVID deaths in the US.
According to a Reuters tally, New York still ranks second in terms of deaths per capita, after only New Jersey.
Hochul, a Democrat, took over as governor on Tuesday after serving as Lieutenant Governor under Cuomo.
Cuomo’s figure was skewed since it only included confirmed COVID-19 deaths and ignored individuals who died in their own homes or other locations.
Hochul said in a statement that the new tally is based on death certificate data supplied to the CDC, which includes any verified or suspected COVID-19 deaths in any area in New York.
“These are deaths that are both assumed and proven. Hochul told NPR that people should be aware of both.
The news broke on Hochul’s second day as governor of New York, making her the first woman to hold the position.
After being sworn in on Tuesday, Hochul made a point of promising the public greater transparency to ensure that New Yorkers “believe in their government again.”