‘Abuse Of Power’: Cuomo Sparks Outrage Over Family’s Special Access To COVID Testing

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2020/09/29: New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily media announcement and briefing at 633 3rd Avenue, Manhattan. Governor discussed Stabilization and Recovery Program for the state as well as uptick of positive infections in some areas of the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders to address COVID-19 clusters in communities downstate. He emphasized importance of wearing masks, social distances and enforcement of compliance. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) holds daily media announcement and briefing in New York City. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sparked outrage after multiple reports on Wednesday night revealed that his administration had arranged VIP access to state-administered coronavirus testing for members of his family and other well-connected people last year.

The reports of special treatment further infuriated local lawmakers who had already called for his third term to be cut short amid parallel scandals involving the altering of COVID-19 death figures among nursing home residents during the early stages of the pandemic, in addition to a growing number of accusers lodging claims against the governor for sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The latest development, revealing that the Cuomo administration had a top state doctor and other health officials visit family members and other influential figures to administer tests that were then rushed for immediate processing, has raised ethical questions and concerns that the move violated state law.

During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, tests were exceedingly rare in New York, which quickly became the epicenter of the nation’s first wave of the virus.

In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was sending test specimens for processing to Atlanta, which caused grave delays. By the time that the Wadsworth Center, New York’s public health lab in Albany, received approval to begin coronavirus testing in-state — it appears that Cuomo’s family members were at the top of the list.

Here’s how New York officials and journalists responded to the news:

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