A bombshell report claims that embattled Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic ensured his family and other people of power close to him were given prioritized access to testing.
In March of last year, if you’ll recall, COVID-19 testing was extremely difficult to come by. According to a report from the Albany Times-Union published late Wednesday, that difficulty did not apply to Cuomo relatives and close associates.
CNN host Chris Cuomo, the younger brother of the governor, was reportedly among those who were able to have their tests analyzed as a priority.
So, too, was Cuomo’s mother and one of his sisters, wrote Brendan J. Lyons of the Times-Union.
“High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter,” wrote Brendan J. Lyons of the Times-Union.
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“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,” Lyons wrote. “Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people.”
That was the same residence where the younger Cuomo broadcast his CNN program nightly after testing positive for the coronavirus. That was also the residence where CNN and Cuomo staged his emergence from the basement where he was allegedly quarantined.
Others implicated in the report as having received priority treatment are Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Pat Foy, head of the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority; the wives of Cotton and Foy; and select lawmakers who were not named.
One of Lyon’s unnamed sources on the story said that individuals linked to Cuomo, including Chris Cuomo, had their early testing samples deemed “critical,” which meant their samples were tested first in the state’s then-only testing cite at the Wadsworth Center in Albany, the state capital.
Those in Cuomo’s orbit received in-home testing, which the report stated was not “unusual” for that time. But what was peculiar, per the report, was how the tests were handled. Lyons reported that “much of the work was done by public health nurses, and they were often being transported [to Albany] by law enforcement officers, including parole officers.”
A spokesman for Cuomo denied any wrongdoing occurred in a statement issued for the Times-Union report.
“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,” Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to the governor, said in the statement.
“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 governor is facing scrutiny regarding how his state handled placing COVID-positive patients in nursing homes in the early days of the pandemic. Cuomo’s administration is also accused of cooking the books on the number of coronavirus patients who may have died as a result of the nursing home policy.
Cuomo is also facing mounting accusations of sexual harassment or sexual assault from numerous women. Thus far, the governor has refused calls to resign.
The governor, now in his third term, was just months ago hailed by Democrats, the mainstream media and Hollywood as a model leader throughout the pandemic.
As the walls continue to close in, however, he now finds himself accused of outright corruption with regard to offering his family priority treatment while his state’s citizens languished in fear, died or lost loved ones in lonely and isolated long-term care facilities.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
ARTICLE SOURCE : thefederalistpapers.org