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Cuomo takes a hit over handling of nursing homes amid coronavirus, poll says


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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking a hit over his administration’s handling of nursing homes amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The number of New Yorkers who approve of Cuomo’s job performance sunk from a record 71 percent last month to just 63 percent — with the majority disapproving of how he dealt with the elder care facilities, the statewide Siena College survey found.

“When it comes to addressing the needs of nursing homes, only 44 percent give him positive marks, compared to a plurality, 48 percent, who rate him negatively,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

A widely-criticized health department mandate issued on March 25 required all nursing homes to readmit residents who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Cuomo has twice blamed federal guidance for the controversial directive. And he didn’t appear to regret the mandate, even with roughly 5,800 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 deaths now reported in nursing homes.

The state partially backtracked the policy earlier this month, saying hospitals cannot send COVID-positive people back into homes, and also ordering all staff to be tested twice weekly.

A flood of state lawmakers, however, have in turn called for independent investigations into what role the March 25 directive played in the hellish nursing home death tolls.

Still, about 54 percent of Democrats view Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes positively, while 55 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents give him a negative grade, the poll found.

“Voters 55 and older are closely divided, with 49 percent grading him positively and 46 percent negatively,” said Greenberg.

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Overall, 76 percent of respondents approved of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, down from 84 percent in April.

“Cuomo’s stratospheric ratings from New Yorkers in April have fallen from their record highs but remain very strong as two-thirds of voters still view him favorably,” said Greenberg.

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