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Cuomo Defends Lower COVID Death Count

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Mike Groll
/
Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the state’s death count during the COVID-19 pandemic, following a report by the Associated Press that said New York may have undercounted the number of deaths from the disease by as many as 11,000 people.

The AP reports that, according to data that New York State has provided to the federal government on the number of deaths from COVID-19, the CDC said around 54,000 New Yorkers have passed away so far during the pandemic. But the state Health Department lists around 43,000 deaths from the disease.

Governor Cuomo was asked about the discrepancy at a news conference.

“We have always reported lab tested results,” Cuomo said. “CDC asks for additional information.”

Cuomo said the state gives the federal agency data about presumed deaths due to COVID, and leaves it to the federal government to report that tally.

The AP finds that other states including California, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey report death numbers that mirror the CDC numbers, and count all cases where COVID is either the cause of death or a contributing factor.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.