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CNN's Chris Cuomo lauds brother in panned interview: 'You're both awful'

CNN's Chris CuomoChris CuomoTrump to reemerge on political scene at CPAC Kinzinger: GOP will 'be a minority party forever' if we keep supporting Trump Cruz blames criticism of Cancun trip on media 'Trump withdrawal' MORE was mocked after lauding his brother, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNY billboard calls for Cuomo's impeachment amid controversies On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Stefanik renews call for Cuomo to resign amid new sexual harassment accusation MORE (D), during an interview that one media publication called "a close approximation of a campaign endorsement," with the anchor declaring he was "wowed" by the governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"You stepped up in an unusual way that really was created by a vacuum of power on the federal level," Chris Cuomo told the governor in a remote interview late Wednesday.

“But these unusual times have demonstrated some unusual characteristics in people,” the CNN host. “And of course I won’t always be able to keep having you on the show. It will never be seen as fair in people’s eyes, and we both get that, that’s OK, you have plenty of people to talk to.”

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“I hope you are able to appreciate what you did in your state and what it means for the rest of the country now and what it will always mean to those who love and care about you the most,” the former ABC "20/20" anchor added. “I’m wowed by what you did, and more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it. This was very hard. I know it’s not over. But obviously I love you as a brother, obviously I’ll never be objective, obviously I think you’re the best politician in the country. But I hope you feel good about what you did for your people because I know they appreciate it.

"Nothing’s perfect, you’ll have your critics," he concluded. "But I’ve never seen anything like what you did and that’s why I’m so happy to have had you on the show. And I hope you know that.”

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New York served as the epicenter of pandemic. Nearly 25,000 residents have died, including more than 7,900 deaths in nursing homes.

Andrew Cuomo still gets high marks for his handling of the crisis, with his approval in the last poll conducted by Siena College on May 27 at 66 percent.

His approval on his handling of nursing homes, which included an order to send positive COVID-19 patients back into the facilities, is only at 44 percent. House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseMerrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat Why Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment now The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE (R-La.) has called the decision "a colossal failure" with "a deadly outcome" and has called for an investigation.

The Cuomo brothers interview quickly sparked blowback on social media.  Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, whose husband's parents died in a New York nursing home during the pandemic, called the pair "both awful."