ANDREW Cuomo allegedly ordered state officials to give preferential Covid testing to his CNN host brother and other family members.
Last year, in the early days of the pandemic, high-level members of New York’s Health Department were reportedly directed to give priority testing to CNN’s Chris Cuomo as well as the governor’s mom and his sister.
A new report alleges that Gov Cuomo got preferential Covid tests for his familyCredit: EPA
Chris Cuomo was diagnosed with Covid-19 last MarchCredit: CNN
The Albany Times-Union reported that Gov Cuomo and state Health Commissioner Dr Howard Zucker directed health officials to prioritize Cuomo family members as well as other influential people with ties to the governor’s administration.
Three people with direct knowledge of the matter reportedly told the outlet that the testing was often done at private residences, including Chris Cuomo’s home on Long Island.
Sources reportedly told the outlet that Dr Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist and special adviser to Zucker, conducted testing on Chris at his home.
The CNN anchor was diagnosed with Covid-19 during the early days of the pandemic, last March, when testing was still scarce.
The brothers often appeared on TV together to discuss the virusCredit: Getty
Dr Eleanor Adams allegedly tested Chris Cuomo at his homeCredit: eleanor-adams-8b8844ba/LinkedIn
He quarantined at his home, where he continued to do his nightly show.
CNN did not immediately return The Sun’s request for comment.
The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Rick Cotton, and his wife were reportedly among those who also got priority testing. As were MTA head Patrick Foye and his wife.
The outlet reports that other members of the media, state legislators and their staff were also given priority testing.
The coronavirus test specimens were then rushed to the state’s Wadsworth Center in Albany, where they were processed immediately, the outlet reported.
Employees at the lab were sometimes kept late to make sure the samples of those close to Cuomo were processed, the report said.
In the early days of the pandemic, Covid tests were hard to come byCredit: AFP
In a statement to The Sun, Cuomo Senior Adviser Senior Rich Azzopardi derided “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,” he 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.”
The news comes as Gov Cuomo is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, facing allegations of misconduct from several current and former female staffers.
The allegations come as Cuomo faces mounting claims of sexual harassment from current and former employeesCredit: EPA
The governor has been accused by eight women, many of them current or former employees, of sexual harassment over the past few weeks.
However, even as the state attorney general investigates him, Cuomo has maintained that he never harassed anyone.
The latest allegations against Cuomo came from current staffer Alyssa McGrath, who said Cuomo would “ogle her body, remark on her looks and make suggestive comments to her and another executive aide.”
She told the New York Times that the governor “has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend.”
“But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.'”
Cuomo was also accused of groping the breast of another aide at the Executive Mansion.
Former staffers Lindsey Boylan, Charlotte Bennett, Ana Liss and Karen Hinton all made allegations against the governor, as did Anna Ruch, who claimed to have had an uncomfortable encounter with Cuomo at a 2019 wedding.