Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), already swamped with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and coverups of COVID-19 nursing home deaths, finds himself in yet another scandal after reports by Times Union, the Washington Post, and the New York Times revealed that he’d used his position to secure priority COVID-19 testing for family members and political VIPs.
Not only did the governor reportedly order health officials to test his family when most other New Yorkers had little testing access in March last year, he also made sure the samples were rushed to Wadsworth Center, a lab in Albany with limited processing capacity at the time. The lab employees who had to analyze the tests were made to stay late into the night to complete their work. Additionally, the sample deliveries were reportedly escorted by the State Police.
Dr. Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist who now serves as a top aide to Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, was reportedly directed to administer the tests to the governor’s family members, which took several days.
Adams reportedly tested CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who is the governor’s younger brother, and his family at their home in the Hamptons. They received the test several times, according to the New York Times.
One of Chris’ tests gave a positive result, which he announced on air on March 31 last year.
In response to the new reports, CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said in a statement that the network does not “get involved in the medical decisions of” its employees.
“However, it is not surprising that in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris was showing symptoms and was concerned about possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would,” Dornic added.
Cuomo’s mother, Matilda Cuomo, also reportedly received priority testing.
And At Least One Sister
At least one of Cuomo’s three sisters — Maria, Margaret and Madeline — got tested in the early phase as well. The reports did not identify which sister.
Unnamed New York Big Shots
The Times Union and New York Times report that Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive director Rick Cotton and his wife were given priority testing, as did Metropolitan Transportation Authority Patrick J. Foye. Government nurses were also ordered to personally test dozens of unnamed VIPs, including some perched in Manhattan penthouses, who were internally referred to as “specials,” according to the Washington Post.