One of the sources maintained officials told them to prioritize Cuomo’s family and friends, citing the tests as “critical samples.”
The Albany Times Union reported New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prioritized his family and influential people with ties for COVID-19 tests when the pandemic began last year:
Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times, the sources said.
The medical officials enlisted to do the testing, which often took place at private residences, included Dr. Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist who graduated from Harvard Medical School and in August became a special adviser to Zucker. Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people.
“If their job was to go test an old lady down in New Rochelle, that’s one thing — that’s actually good,” one of the people with knowledge of the matter said. “This was not that.”
Others who were given priority testing include Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his wife, as well as Patrick J. Foye, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and his wife. Members of the media, state legislators and their staff also were tested in similar fashion, although there is no indication those tests were done by high-level health department officials.
Cuomo’s administration asserted they did not give anyone preferential treatment when tests came out in March 2020:
Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, characterized the allegations of preferential treatment as “insincere efforts to rewrite the past.”
“In the early days of this pandemic, when there was a heavy emphasis on contact tracing, we were absolutely going above and beyond to get people testing — including in some instances going to people’s homes, and door-to-door in places like New Rochelle — to take samples from those believed to have been exposed to COVID in order to identify cases and prevent additional ones,” Azzopardi said. “Among those we assisted were members of the general public, including legislators, reporters, state workers and their families who feared they had contracted the virus and had the capability to further spread it.”
Public nurses traveled to private residences in New Rochelle, where New York had its first outbreak. The nurses tested “people who were symptomatic or who had been exposed to the virus.”
State Police troopers drove the tests to the Wadsworth Center laboratory located in Albany.
One of the sources maintained officials told them to prioritize Cuomo’s family and friends, citing them as “critical samples.”
Don’t forget his brother Chris had a positive test in late March “when many members of the public struggled to obtain coronavirus tests.” The governor said his brother is an essential worker:
Chris Cuomo, an anchor for CNN, announced March 31 that he had tested positive for coronavirus and would be quarantining in his Long Island residence in Southampton, where he continued doing his nightly show despite being ill.
“My brother Chris is positive for coronavirus — found out this morning,” the governor said during his daily briefing on March 31. “Now, he is going to be fine. He’s young, in good shape, strong — not as strong as he thinks — but he will be fine. But there’s a lesson in this. He’s an essential worker. … He’s just worried about his daughter and his kids. He hopes he didn’t get them infected.”
This comes out as Cuomo faces allegations of sexual harassment and scandal over his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.DONATE
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