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

CNN's Chris CuomoChris CuomoDefiant NJ gym owners to CNN's Cuomo: 'We're being villainized' Chris Cuomo blasts Trump over photo with Goya products: 'In the middle of a pandemic, they're selling beans' Democratic super PAC to launch 'Creepy Trump' TV ad MORE was mocked after lauding his brother, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo calls on wealthy to return to New York City: 'You got to come back!' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal Cuomo to serve as National Association of Governors chair 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 ScaliseRepublicans fear disaster in November Gaetz set to endorse primary opponent of fellow Florida GOP lawmaker Hillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video 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."