It is both revealing and unsurprising to learn how bad of a governor Andrew Cuomo truly was.
It has taken very little time at all for Kathy Hochul, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York taking over for Andrew Cuomo, to make an impact in her new leadership role. On her initial foray into the governor’s mansion, she makes the announcement that there will be a correction to the state’s official COVID-19 death totals, correcting the record from her predecessor.
Based on the fact that the Cuomo administration had employed a very skewed protocol to their tabulation methods — one that differed from the standard set by the CDC — the state’s official death count had been significantly lowered. Hochul has announced that she will now be counting a figure which includes close to 12,000 additional deaths, meaning that Andrew Cuomo had been artificially depressing the figure by over 25%.
“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 said Wednesday on MSNBC. “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.”
What had been in play from Cuomo’s team is that they were electing to only count COVID deaths that were verified through official state systems, such as hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This meant that those who died from the virus at home, or in privately operated locations like hospice care entities and other such operations were excluded from the governor’s broadcast totals.
This is akin to the shell game Cuomo played to keep his nursing home death rates from looking worse. Then it was shown if a resident had been moved to a hospital and later perished they were not counted as a “nursing home death,” despite the point of contraction. Now we see how this was a common trait exemplified by his office.
This move by Hochul is both an indication she is not simply carrying forth Cuomo’s agenda, but this is also a savvy move for her own edification. By coming clean now with these accurate figures she is sidestepping culpability down the road. May as well get all the dirt exposed and collected now, because this is the time to offload it all onto Cuomo, as damaged a figure as you can find.
This exposed reality becomes just another tarnished facet to the man who was glowing like a firmament in the media atmosphere just one year ago. Cuomo had been a celebrated figure heaped with numerous unearned plaudits, from a touted Presidential run to primetime appearances on his brother’s CNN show, to an Emmy award for…who knows why? He also was paid handsomely for a book deal, subtitled with the now hilarious claim of delivering “Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Pandemic.” Why not go all the way, Andrew, and cut a how-to book on positive statistical analysis for fun and profit?
It is, of course, far too early to assess if this is truly a refreshingly new form of leadership in Albany, or a political gambit to have Hochul installing herself in a burnished light, or a combination of the two. It is refreshing though to see a new form of accuracy brought to the table regarding COVID’s presentation. The prior totals that the state has officially been touting was 43,400; Hochul’s recalibration will take that figure up to 55,400.
It speaks volumes that the press has been loudly bleating for over a year about the dangers of COVID misinformation, all the while they were praising this man who was the highest practitioner of false COVID data.