New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet another scandal on his plate. The Albany Times-Union is now reporting that in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo and New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker directed health officials to prioritize COVID-19 tests for the governor’s family and those connected to the Cuomo administration.
Cuomo’s brother, mother, and at least one of his sisters were given priority tests, some of them several times, sources told the Times Union.
“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,” the report says. “Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people.”
Richard Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo, disputed the allegations of preferential treatment.
“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.”
Despite Azzopardi’s insistence that everything was on the level, a source told the Times Union that people with connections to the governor had their samples moved to the front of the line at the Wadsworth Center laboratory in Albany, the primary testing spot for coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic, and were given priority over others.
This new scandal comes on top of the nursing home COVID scandal, in which Cuomo forced nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, causing massive deadly outbreaks, and then covering it up. Cuomo’s “leadership” during the pandemic earned him an Emmy Award, and a six-figure advance for his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Eight women have also accused the governor of sexual harassment and misconduct.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.