Biden Disapproval Rating Reaches New High

By Casey Harper (The Center Square)

President Joe Biden is kicking off his second year in office with his highest disapproval rating to date.

A new CNBC/Change Research poll found 56% of voters disapprove of Biden’s job as president, the worst disapproval numbers the president has seen since taking office.

The economy and COVID-19 are major factors in voters’ sentiments, with 60% disapproving of Biden’s job on the economy and 55% disapproving of his work on COVID-19. Biden had previously seen poor economic numbers but better approval numbers on his handling of the pandemic.

The drop in COVID-related ratings comes amid a flurry of vaccine mandates and a surge in omicron cases around the nation. This week, the U.S. is reporting one million new cases of COVID-19 daily.

RELATED: Ted Cruz: Biden Impeachment Likely If Republicans Win Back The House

Polling from December showed voters do not approve of Biden’s vaccine mandates.

Convention of States Action, in conjunction with Trafalgar group, released polling data last month reporting that the majority of Americans oppose new vaccine mandates to counter omicron.

The poll found 69.4% of Americans said “no new mandates or restrictions are required” in response to the COVID variant, while 30.6% said the opposite.

“Unlike government health officials in Washington, DC, Americans have already figured out that mandates and lockdowns are not the way we will beat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Action.

RELATED: Poll: Voters Unhappy With Biden Administration’s Handling Of Supply Chain Crisis

“As we’ve seen in our polls repeatedly, the American people are tired of all this and are ready to get on with their lives. The U.S. Senate finally recognized this reality … with the bipartisan passage of the bill to block President Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate, and we’re going to see more of this as we get closer to 2022 and elected officials fight to save their jobs.”

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.

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Manhattan DA: No Charges Against Cuomo In COVID Nursing Home Death Scandal

By Steve Bittenbender (The Center Square)

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo started 2022 much like he ended 2021, with an apparent legal victory.

A lawyer for the disgraced ex-leader of the state said Monday that the Manhattan district attorney’s office ended its investigation into the Cuomo administration’s nursing home policies during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis without pressing any charges.

“I was told that after a thorough investigation – as we have said all along – there was no evidence to suggest any laws were broken,” Elkan Abramowitz, former outside counsel for the executive chamber, said in a statement posted by Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi on Twitter.

The news from Manhattan comes after prosecutors in Nassau and Westchester counties said in late December they would not seek charges against the former governor related to sexual harassment allegations made against him.

RELATED: Disgraced Former Gov. Cuomo Ordered To Pay Back $5.1 Million From COVID Book Deal

In late March 2020, as COVID-19 cases were increasing in New York, state officials initiated a new policy requiring nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive into their facilities.

The rationale was to free up beds at hospitals suddenly taxed by an influx of patients needing treatment. Shortly after the policy started, though, caseloads and deaths at the long-term care facilities skyrocketed.

The administration eventually issued a report that said the policy was not responsible for increased deaths at the facilities. Instead, the administration said community spread brought it in as workers and visitors introduced the virus to nursing homes before additional steps could be taken to control it.

The policy was eventually rescinded in early May.

The administration would also reveal daily death totals regarding people who died at hospitals and nursing homes. In January 2021, however, state Attorney General Letitia James said an investigation by her office determined that while Cuomo and state leaders did not underreport the total number of deaths, the number of deaths attributable to nursing homes was undercounted by up to 50%.

All the while, Cuomo’s national profile rose as his daily COVID-19 briefings made him a national political figure. He eventually received a $5 million book deal regarding his management of the crisis during the early days of the pandemic.

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were also critical of Cuomo and the nursing home policy, especially regarding the lack of information the administration revealed about it.

Cuomo resigned in August, not due to the nursing home investigation, but after an independent investigation into several sexual harassment accusations against him. Those sexual harassment allegations and the nursing home policies were also part of an impeachment probe led by members of the state Assembly.

RELATED: Report: Andrew Cuomo Now Under Federal Investigation Over Sexual Harassment Claims

The state’s public ethics agency also pulled its approval of Cuomo’s $5 million book deal. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics also has taken steps to force the former governor to give back the money after the impeachment investigation determined administration officials worked on the book in violation of the conditions it gave in its approval of the book deal.

And while Cuomo may not face prosecution in New York County, that does not mean he will necessarily escape punishment.

Prosecutors in the New York City borough were just one of several agencies investigating Cuomo regarding nursing homes. An investigation by James’ office still continues as well as ones by the FBI and federal prosecutors.

Janice Dean, a Fox News meteorologist who became one of Cuomo’s most outspoken critics after her in-laws died in nursing homes, noted those ongoing inquiries in a statement on Twitter after Monday’s news broke.

“This sounds like a little favor from an outgoing Manhattan DA, which we’ll address with the new DA,” Dean tweeted.

Cyrus Vance served as the Manhattan district attorney until the end of December. Alvin Bragg won election in November and took over officially on New Year’s Day.

A message to Bragg’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.

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