Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo Replacement Kathy Hochul Says New York's Real COVID Death Toll Is 12,000 Higher Than Cuomo Claimed

Hochul’s office reports that some 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York, much higher than the 43,400 claimed by Cuomo, who left office Monday.


Florida's cooking the books, or so went the refrain this past winter and spring as the now-discredited whistleblower and former state Department of Health employee Rebekah Jones went on a media tour to promote the idea that her state was manipulating COVID death data to save face.

In reality, New York was the state with disturbing discrepancies between Department of Health data and that which was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Under now-disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who left office this week, the state's COVID death toll was logged as 43,400. But incoming Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has taken over post–Cuomo resignation, made moves during her first days in office to correct the official count to 55,400. "Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration," Hochul said to MSNBC on Wednesday. "The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what's happening," she told NPR. "That's how we restore confidence."

Whyever would Cuomo obfuscate the number of total COVID deaths in the state? Perhaps to distract from allegations of COVID-handling malfeasance, the embarrassment of the nursing home death toll cover-up, or to score a point or two in his sparring matches with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Substacker and number cruncher PoliMath reported the number discrepancy back in February, and in July, an overly diplomatic Associated Press headline read "New York takes conservative approach counting virus deaths."

Cuomo chose to tout, in his Emmy Award–winning briefings (no longer!), a state death toll that only included lab-confirmed COVID cases for those who died in hospitals, nursing homes, and residential adult-care facilities. It did not include people who died at home, in prisons, in residential homes for people with disabilities, or in hospice care. It also did not include people who most likely died of COVID, but did not officially test positive. Experts estimate there were roughly 5,000 of those types of cases in New York City alone, in part due to the fact that since New York was hit hard before testing capacity had been built out, it was difficult to get a confirmed result.

Regardless, Cuomo's creative accounting involved a great deal of cherry-picking that made it so that the keen observer—or, frankly, even a dullard—when comparing state health department data and official CDC data would have been left confused by the discrepancy: The state reported more deaths to the CDC, which were then reflected in the agency's data, than the state was willing to show on its own dashboards or in Cuomo's briefings. (It's worth noting that New York City has been a defector, long reporting data directly to the CDC while putting pressure on the state to bring its practices up to snuff.)

Bad politician behavior aside, the reporting issues with state COVID data, by little fault of their governors, have also hobbled states' responses. A Politico investigation this month revealed that the virus had "exposed a patchwork system in which state officials struggled to control the spread of Covid-19 because their outdated surveillance systems did not allow them to collect and analyze data in real-time" and that "in January 2021—the deadliest month of the pandemic—states were more than five weeks behind in submitting mortality data to the CDC."

State reporting systems were plagued by all kinds of technical and logistical problems, some by their own doing. Lab test-processing bandwidth was low in many places; many lab results were not sent to state departments of health electronically and were instead faxed (really!) or sent via mail and manually entered; delays in entering health data into a centralized system meant delays in assigning contract tracers to a given case; contact tracers sometimes struggled to make contact with the infected individual, only getting in touch with them many days after they'd been initially infected. Many states struggled with jurisdiction if a resident whose case they were following via contact tracing also crossed state lines regularly.

Some blame can be placed, contra libertarian cheering, on reduced or inadequate funding for state health bureaucracies; some blame can be placed, according to Politico's investigation, on waning federal interest over time in modernizing state and national disease-reporting systems, since some federal officials believed "pandemics were not a top national security threat." This had devastating effects:

"In Alabama, during surges, data systems crashed from an influx of cases hitting the system. In Vermont, more than 1,300 of Covid-19 lab results in December 2020 were received through fax, email or snail mail—not through the state's electronic reporting system. In Washington state, labs were up to 10 days late reporting Covid-19 results during peak periods. In Wyoming, the state health department had to "deduplicate" thousands of records in its electronic system each month to ensure positive results were counted just once."

How much better could the virus have been managed had state-level public health officials had the systems in place to be able to competently manage data reporting and contact tracing? We'll never know, but the existing systems in many states were anything but nimble. Of course, in New York's case, blame should also be assigned to the Emmy-winning governor who got a little too conceited, thinking that repeatedly lying to the public about all manners of misdeeds wouldn't catch up to him in the end.

NEXT: Democrats Plot Huge New Federal Health Program as Part of $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan

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  1. Hochul’s office reports that some 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York, much higher than the 43,400 claimed by Cuomo, who left office Monday.

    Of the virus, or with the virus.

    This is a particular pet peeve of mine. I’ll be listening to the radio and the CDC spokesperson will say “X people died with the virus” and the reporter immediately says “X people died from the virus.” Um, no. A victim of a skydiving accident who tests positive died with the virus, but not from it.

    Words matter.

    1. Not anymore they don’t

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    2. Of the virus. With the virus. While adjacent to the virus.

      1. Of, by, and for may be more apropos for what seems to be coming down the road.

    3. I was making this point last year. You look at the Excess Deaths and compare it to reported deaths and everywhere around the country the number of excess deaths was lower than the number of reported COVID deaths- EXCEPT New York.

      What is sad is I was calling this out months ago, with information that was publicly available. The fact that the media gave zero fucks about it shows just how in the tank for Cuomo that they were.

      1. The only thing I can think of is that the lockdowns should have reduced vehicle-related deaths. If you don’t go anywhere, you can’t get into a car crash, and if there aren’t any bars open, you won’t drive drunk as often.

        1. Except your now drinking at home all day long and going for short drives just to get out and driving drunk 2-3 times as often.

          1. BAC 0.10 is the new normal.

        2. Yeah excess deaths couldn’t tell you very specific stuff. But when compared across the country, you could very very clearly see that New York (and New Jersey for that matter) were statistical anomalies compared to the rest of the country. And when you dug into the excess deaths data, it was very easy to see that New York was hiding covid deaths in other causes. Heart attacks, respiratory diseases and death due to “dementia” had spiked right during the month of covid spikes.

        3. Insurance companies actually sent rebate checks last year, they were saving so much money on fewer car accidents.

        4. The one report I read about the traffic deaths stated that there were fewer people on the roads but not as great a reduction in deaths. I can’t remember the numbers but basically, the traffic dropped by 30% but deaths only by 5% or something like that because since the roads were empty the people driving on them were more reckless.

    4. This argument reminds me of the people who say BMI is bullshit because athletes have high BMI.

      Between March 1, 2020, and January 2, 2021, the US experienced 2 801 439 deaths, 22.9% more than expected, representing 522 368 excess deaths.

      The 22.9% increase in all-cause mortality reported here far exceeds annual increases observed in recent years (≤2.5%).

      I suppose it’s just a coincidence that it happened the same year that COVID was circulating.

      1. But he’s not arguing that covid hasn’t caused any excess deaths, so you don’t have much of a point here.

      2. Joblessness, business failure, and social isolation (from the lockdowns) also lead to increased deaths, from drug abuse and suicide. Violent crime was also up. Not to mention truly ill people avoiding getting medical treatment at hospitals because they were afraid of catching COVID.

        And the official CDC stats say “with COVID”, just to be sure they are not undercounting.

      3. 2020, after heart disease and cancer. According to the CDC data, heart disease killed 705,000 people in 2020, cancer killed 609,000, and COVID-19 killed 356,000. Accounting for the change in population, both cancer and heart disease deaths were higher in 2020 than 2019.

        Does covid cause an increase in cancer and heart disease? You cite 500k excess deaths. How many are from non regular testing or avoiding doctors. Was the reaction worse than the event?

        Also it is still amazing watching the number of 2020 deaths grow. Cdc is now up over 200k from reported deaths from their March estimates. Will be interesting to see the 2 year average after this year.

        1. Realize that both “Heart Disease” and “Cancer” are broad categories for many different types of individual diseases. Leukemia is nothing like breast cancer. Hypertension is not atrial fibrillation. Those are catch-all diagnoses. Covid-19 is one very specific kind of a disease. The population of New York City is tiny compared to the population of Asia. That doesn’t mean New York is not a very large city. Crude mental gymnastics are needed to invent straw men to make Covid-19 seem less significant than it is. I still don’t understand what happened to the patriotism Americans used to feel.

      4. BMI actually IS bullshit.

  2. More nursing home deaths caused by progressive all-star Cuomo?

    1. Like all progressive tools, his value was temporary.

      1. Yep, it was only once his personal behavior (not his lying) became detrimental to “the cause” that he was jettisoned.

        1. If voters anywhere punished lying then the Republican party would’ve been purged thrice over by now.

          1. It hardly matters; my observation of politics over 60 years, is that when purges (deaths, resignations, retirement, lost primary, etc.) happened – in either party – the replacements are liars too.

          2. “would’ve been purged thrice over by now”

            …and the Democrats dead in their infancy. How a political party with a worse history than the Spanish Falangists and the Italian Fascists is still operating in the 21st century, astonishes me.

            1. Because their opposition is just as worthless.

              And in most instances, supporting the same donor base.

              1. You’re full of shit and a ‘simplistic’ thinker at best.

          3. Say hi to Governor Blackface for me. Or Mr. French Laundry.

            Across the river from me, in Illinois, most of their former democrat governors are still in Federal lockup.

          4. Don’t worry, California voters are about to get rid of their governor.

          5. But not the de Croats, right?

  3. “Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration,” Hochul said to MSNBC on Wednesday.

    Off to a good start: “will be”, as opposed to “is”.

    1. She just ment she’s going to use old school transparencies for overhead projects to lie tk you

    2. Everyone is transparent about the last guy’s failings.

  4. That dude with the long hair is only slightly less ugly. But the politics are the same.

  5. “New York takes conservative approach counting virus deaths.”

    So Cuomo got an [now revoked] Emmy “not for being a good governor but playing one on tv;” the AP also deserves something: Is there a Pulitzer Prize for creative euphemisms?

    1. I’m sure there’s some kind of prize for Best Young Adult Fiction story or something.

      1. It is called the Blair Award.

  6. Hochul’s office reports that some 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York, much higher than the 43,400 claimed by Cuomo

    Is there any reason to believe the new number is any more accurate than Cuomo’s? I know Cuomo is a lying piece of shit, but so is everyone else in politics. Especially in NY.

  7. Is she saying the mask mandates don’t work?

  8. The state reported more deaths to the CDC, which were then reflected in the agency’s data, than the state was willing to show on its own dashboards or in Cuomo’s briefings.

    Wow, that’s pretty brazen even by politician standards. Either he believed himself to be so untouchable that no one would ever call him on his bullshit, or he thought people were too stupid to catch on. Or both … probably both.

    1. When all the late night tv hosts are crowing about the throbbing chick boners they get from you, that could possibly suggest that perhaps, just maybe, you might be invincible.

  9. Once again, if the Democrats are accusing others of something, you eventually find out the Democrats were actually the ones doing it.

    1. What I find funny is people like you make a big stink about this but soaring numbers of deaths all across red southern states don’t even make a blip to you.

      You act all outraged about this but you obviously are only using it hypocritically otherwise you’d be just as outraged at the heavy handed governor tactics of TX and FL that are only making things worse right now.

      But hey, if it weren’t for double standards you and your ilk wouldn’t have any at all.

      1. Hawaii and Oregon are also haveing soaring numbers, your retard proggi friends don’t report it because it hurts the narrative

      2. Putting sick people in nursing homes was the correct move!

      3. LOL us seasonality theorists were telling you exactly when and where to expect the sunbelt spike — and this is back in May when Fauci had no idea why cases in Texas were dropping.

        You would think that after eating shit last winter after talking it all summer, you people would have learned — but of course not. It’s all about calling people stupid.

        Spoiler alert: The south peaks soon and then the winter wave starts in the midwest, where the weather turns first.

      4. ‘What about’ Texas and Florida doesn’t change the fact that Cuomo deliberately sent his own constituents to their deaths. Also, congratulations on demonstrating BillyG’s point, you’re accusing the out-group of only having double standards. For good measure, you’ve without knowing intent, but with sanctimonious certitude, stated that he is using the unnecessary deaths caused by a wannabe despot your in-group lauded, hell, lauds with praise, hypocritically.

      5. Yeah, because letting people make their own choices is exactly the same as actively making the situation worse.

        1. It’s OK to let people make their own choices only as long as they make the right ones.

      6. Don’t pretend you give a rat’s ass about people in ‘red’ states.

        1. Shitlunches doesn’t even care about people in blue states. Socialists all see themselves as an elite with a seat at the table. Everyone else is just a drone to be used for maximum effect. Even though most of them, including Shitlunches, are not elite, and have no seat. Shitlunches is just another mindless, soulless prog drone.

      7. “What I find funny is people like you make a big stink about this but soaring numbers of deaths all across red southern states don’t even make a blip to you…”

        What I find pathetic is an ability on the part of lefty shits like you to avoid the point entirely and try to change the subject.
        Fuck off and die, asshole.

  10. …thinking that repeatedly lying to the public about all manners of misdeeds wouldn’t catch up to him in the end.

    To be fair, most of the time lying to the public doesn’t catch up to them in the end, so that wasn’t a bad assumption on his part.

    Also, let’s not forget the reason he had to resign had nothing to do with his pandemic related lies, and instead was a result of him getting too handsy with some female employees. If his only crime was lying to the public he would not only still be governor, but probably getting ready to set his sights on even higher office.

    1. And would still have his Emmy.

      And only the most boorish will ever bring his name up again.

  11. Substacker and number cruncher PoliMath reported the number discrepancy back in February, and in July, an overly diplomatic Associated Press headline read “New York takes conservative approach counting virus deaths.”


    1. You know that depends upon whose science you are talking about.

      I have always thought science to be a matter of rigorous investigation and evolving theories tested out be experimentation and published in respected journals under the scrutiny of peer review.

      In the popular sense, “science” is just doing what all the cool people want to believe.

    2. Did Apoorva Mandavilli give you that talking point 😛

      1. Mandavilli? Are we talking about THAT Georgia???

  12. Cuomo lied, people died….

    1. Yeah but those bombs we financed, procured, and built by the FBI, then given to an autistic kid to hold in his car so the FBI can claim they prevented a “terrorist”

    2. Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb, especially in Gotham:

  13. Who watches the watchmen? Not the media…

  14. >>”Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration,”

    she knows she’s in New York yes?

  15. Progressives want us to rely on politicians and bureaucrats for information, and they tell us that facts that aren’t in harmony with what politicians and bureaucrats say is “misinformation”. Part of this is a function of progressive elitism and their contempt for average people. Regardless of why, this is not only one of the reasons why progressives are America’s most horrible people but also one of the reasons why progressives are among America’s most poorly informed people.

    Exhibit A:

    “The group who names MSNBC as their main news source is far more likely than the Fox News group to answer correctly that the coronavirus originated in nature rather than a laboratory and that it will take a year or more for a vaccine to become available. On both questions, the portion in the CNN group to answer correctly falls between the MSNBC and Fox News numbers.

    —-Pew Research, April 1, 2020

    The date of that study is particularly important because between April 1, 2020 and today, we found out 1) that the coronavirus probably did not originate in nature and 2) that the vaccine would become available in less than a year. However, I think Pew may have stolen a base with that study because gauging the extent to which viewers watched CNN and MSNBC, on the one hand, and Fox, on the other, may not have been the pertinent issue so much as the extent to which those networks parroted the bureaucrats.

    Suffice it to say, cable news networks were wrong to parrot the bureaucrats on these issues and others, and to the extent that viewers of CNN and MSNBC believed what they were told on those networks, they were wrong to do so. Their viewers were misinformed.

    I haven’t seen the American people so horribly misinformed since a poll taken six months after we invaded Iraq showed that 69% of the American people still believed that Saddam Hussein was personally complicit in 9/11. Incidentally, that embarrassing failure was also driven by consumers, reporters, and networks being too eager to believe what they were told by politicians and bureaucrats.

    1. to answer correctly that the coronavirus originated in nature rather than a laboratory and that it will take a year or more for a vaccine to become available.”

      Which demonstrates the lack of critical thinking skills amongst the clerisy at Pew Research too.
      It’s almost like the whole of the Western establishment were taught not to think critically and to listen to Top Men exclusively. Is it some sort of course at Harvard?

      1. Must be like that course about not putting tools away that they seem to give undergraduate engineering students these days.

  16. GASP! Cuomo lied?! No way!

  17. and the NY Times reports … crickets chirping …

    1. Local story, incremental changes, conflicting information, barely newsworthy.

  18. We’re glad to see you’re concerned about it, Governor Hochul.

    Now. When does Andrew Cuomo go on trial for 15,000 or more counts of Murder One?

  19. It’s always good to see a “libertarian” publication blame govt failures and inefficiency on not enough govt spending. Go fuck yourself Liz you leftist cunt, no amount of govt spending would generate a pro-active nimble leviathan as none of the incentives line up to do more with less…ever.

  20. “their outdated surveillance systems did not allow them to collect and analyze data in real-time”

    I’m sure they’ll correct this immediately so they can have a proper surveillance state.

  21. Strangely, nothing about this in the Washington Post.

    1. The SF Chron didn’t find it newsworthy either.
      The paper did feature a story that Biden is going to exact revenge for those deaths yesterday…………
      (if the Taliban lets him).
      There has yet to be a story explaining why the ass-kicking is happening at all – it’s almost as if there were an earthquake or something…

  22. Anyone want to wager that 12,000 is a low number? I mean like a really low number, like less than half the real number.

  23. Hmm!
    He is a liar. He needs to be severely punished..

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