The favorable view voters in New York have of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's handling of the pandemic barely changed in the days after a report found New York under counted the number of nursing home and long-term care facility residents who died during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Siena College poll released Tuesday found.
But voters are less enthusiastic of the governor's handling of nursing home data, as well as the broader rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, the survey found.
The poll was conducted between February 7 and February 11, a timeframe that falls after Attorney General Letitia James's report on nursing home deaths in New York, but before The New York Post reported on a leaked conversation between a top aide to the governor and state lawmakers in which she said data on fatalities in the facilities was withheld from the public and Legislature over cocnerns of a federal inquiry.
The poll of 804 registered voters has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points. The crosstabs can be found here.
The survey found Cuomo's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic remains in favorable territory, 61% to 34% — down from 63% to 32% in January.
Voters by a margin of 67% to 33% approve of the governor's communication during the pandemic, while 61% believe he is providing them with accurate information.
But he receives less approval for the rollout of the vaccine amid a limited supply of doses, a complicated process for scheduling appointments and expanded eligibility that now includes more than half of the state's 19 million residents: 48% of voters approve of Cuomo's handling; 49% do not.
More than 1 million people have now received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
James's report found New York undercounted the number of nursing home and long-term care facility residents who have died during the pandemic. The Cuomo administration for months had declined to answer a Freedom of Information Law request and was forced through a court order to do so and provide more specific data on fatalities.
The state had not separated the deaths of people in nursing homes or similar care facilities and those who died elsewhere, such as a hospital. An updated tally by the state Department of Health found more than 15,000 people have died since March.
And the lack of disclosure reflected in the report and the last six months of public appeals from state lawmakers has potentially resonated with voters.
Only 39% of voters believe Cuomo is doing a good or excellent job of making all nursing home data public, 55% of voters responded he is doing either a fair or poor job.
Still, Cuomo's overall favorability with voters has changed little since January, when it stood at 57% to 39%. The February survey shows Cuomo at 56% favorable, 39% unfavorable with voters.
The poll may be something of a respite for Cuomo, as he will continue to face questions over his oversight of the pandemic.
State lawamkers in both parties are pushing to rescind his enhanced authority to manage the crisis through executive orders following the Post's reporting on the leaked conversation in the meeting.
Cuomo on Monday in a news conference acknowledged his administration should have moved faster to make the nursing home data public. Not doing so, he said, created a "void" that was filled with misinformation.