Majority of NY voters fail Cuomo on reporting of COVID nursing home deaths: survey
Son of nursing home victim rips Cuomo: ‘What he doesn’t like about Trump is exactly who he is’
Peter and Daniel Arbeeny, sons of a nursing home victim, demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologize for underreporting coronavirus-related nursing home deaths.
A majority of New Yorkers disapprove of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of reporting nursing home deaths amid continuing controversy over an alleged cover-up by his administration.
The Siena College poll of New York state voters found that only 39% approved of his handling of making public data related to nursing home deaths while 55% disapprove.
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Cuomo has been under fire for his handling of nursing homes in the early days of the pandemic — specifically a March 25 order that required nursing homes to take in COVID patients. But the controversy exploded last week after a top Cuomo aide told Democrats that the administration “froze” amid an investigation from the Justice Department.
“Because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice, or what we give to you guys, what we start saying, was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation,” she said in remarks first reported by the New York Post.
Those remarks came after a damning report by state Attorney General Letitia James that found the state undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.
The poll was conducted between Feb 7-11, so mostly before the Post’s story dropped on Feb. 11.
Cuomo sought to clarify his team’s actions at a press conference on Monday, telling reporters that the Department of Justice and state legislatures submitted requests for data at the same time last summer. Cuomo said his team opted to prioritize the federal inquiry and informed state lawmakers their request for data would be “paused” in the meantime.
“We gave precedence to the DOJ. We told the assembly that, we told the Senate that and that’s what we did. We were also in the midst of managing a pandemic,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said any disconnect between his office and state lawmakers was the result of a “breakdown in communication between the staff and members of the legislature.”
But the remarks seem unlikely to limit the controversy, which has seen Republicans calling for charges and further investigations and a number of state Democrats calling for Cuomo to be stripped of his emergency powers.
New York state Sen. Jessica Ramos, a Democrat, called Cuomo “trash” and pushed back against Cuomo’s claims.
“At no point did the Administration notify the legislature about a DOJ investigation,” she tweeted. “People died and Cuomo lied then he had the gall to write a book.”
However, the new Siena poll shows that despite the outrage over the nursing homes, Cuomo’s approval ratings on the pandemic more broadly remain solid in the Empire State. The poll found that voters approve of his handling 61-34, down only slightly from 63-32 last month. Voters approved particularly of his communication (67-33) and providing accurate information (61-36.)
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However, voters are less positive of his handling of the vaccine rollout — 48% approve while 49% disapprove.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi pointed to the poll as proof that New Yorkers acknowledged how Cuomo “worked day & night to get us to the other side of this pandemic.
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“Replaying the tape is the press’ job & the political attacks are expected & predictable, but this poll shows Gov’s favorability is rock solid,” he tweeted Tuesday.
Cuomo’s office has not returned Fox News’ request for comment.
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