On Wednesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledged that there were some 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than were counted by former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The governor’s office states 55,395 people have died from COVID. Hochul took the opportunity to implore New Yorkers to get vaccinated.
“COVID-19 is still a threat to hardworking New Yorkers, and although we’re fighting every day to keep them safe, we need everyone who’s able to get vaccinated right away,” Governor Hochul said. “The more people we vaccinate, the more families and friends we’re able to keep safe from this terrible virus. Appointments are available, sites are located across the state and the vaccine is free, so don’t delay and get the vaccine as soon as you can.”
The under-counting of COVID deaths came as no surprise to New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams who released the following statement:
“Today, Governor Hochul’s administration confirmed that there was a significant undercount in COVID-19 deaths. Alongside state legislators and advocates, I have spoken out and questioned Cuomo’s initial report for months and we learned that 12,000 deaths were unaccounted for by his administration. That’s 12,000 lives tragically cut short and thousands of families left without closure for over a year after the passing of their loved ones.
“This news is deeply unsettling and I thank Governor Hochul for being transparent. Disclosing these figures was a step in the right direction towards a more accountable government.
“My condolences go out to the families of the 12,000 victims. While these results cannot undo the negligence committed by the previous administration, I hope it brings some sense of peace.
“COVID-19 is still a threat to us all. As the Delta variant spreads, we must proceed with caution, re-evaluate our current rules, and continue to incentivize folks to get the vaccine. We’ve come so far, but we cannot stop the fight against this pandemic.”