We reported last week on the blockbuster Washington Post story of how Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) gave preferential coronavirus testing treatment to family members and well-connected friends in March and April as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the state’s residents and tests were in short supply and high demand.
Gov. Cuomo’s little brother Chris, who is the anchor of CNN’s “Prime Time” program, was among those who were able to take advantage of the perk of being a family member in order to get testing not widely available to rank and file New Yorkers at the time.
“Among those who benefited from the priority testing program was Cuomo’s brother Chris, who was diagnosed with covid-19 in late March of 2020,” the paper noted. “The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family, the people with knowledge of the matter said.”
Chris Cuomo, who talked extensively last year about his COVID experience on air but who left out the part about his priority treatment for some reason, was conveniently “on vacation” from the network at the time the story broke last week. But even though he’s back on set this week, he’s still not commenting on the initial story nor the follow-up that the Washington Post published Monday which provided details that further painted both of the Cuomos in even much more unflattering lights than were previously thought humanly possible:
But people familiar with the efforts said they were also told to treat individuals differently because of their connections to the governor. The individuals — who spoke at length to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution by Cuomo’s office — described the behind-the-scenes operations and their feelings of discomfort with a system that they believed at times prioritized political connections over medical need.
During the early frenetic weeks in March 2020, officials working at testing sites rapidly assembled a system that gave special treatment to people described by staff as “priorities,” “specials,” “inner circle” or “criticals,” according to five people, including three nurses, who described how resources were redirected to serve those close to the governor and other cases that were fast-tracked.
At one of the first pandemic operations hubs in the state, the testing priority status of more than 100 individuals were logged in an electronic data sheet that was kept separate from a database for the general public, according to a person with direct knowledge of the practice.
In addition to Chris Cuomo, high-profile fashion designer Kenneth Cole reportedly was “among those who benefited from priority testing.”
And at the same time, Gov. Cuomo was ripping the Trump administration for their alleged failure to provide adequate testing supplies for the state, he made sure his brother Chris got whatever he needed — including multiple visits from a top doctor in the state, visits that sometimes went on for hours:
And a top state physician whose pandemic portfolio involved coordinating testing in nursing homes was dispatched multiple times to the Hamptons home of CNN host Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother, in testing visits that sometimes stretched hours, according to two people with knowledge of the consultations.
What was also happening around the time Gov. Cuomo was giving VIP treatment to his family and celebrity friends? Nursing homes were begging the state for tests — and being denied:
The Cuomo administration largely ignored a county official’s pleas for COVID-19 tests for nursing homes at the pandemic’s height last spring — even as the governor allegedly secured the then-scarce tests for his relatives, The Post has learned.
Emails obtained by The Post through the Freedom of Information Law show that Steuben County wasn’t the only jurisdiction to have a request for more stringent testing in nursing homes denied.
In mid-April 2020, officials in Onondaga County drafted a proposed emergency order that would empower them to mandate testing of employees in county nursing homes.
They submitted the proposed order to state DOH officials for approval on April 15 — and received a response rejecting it the very next day, without an explicit explanation for the ruling, email correspondences obtained by The Post show.
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost both of her in-laws after Cuomo’s disastrous March 25, 2020 nursing home order went into effect, jabbed Chris Cuomo in a tweet this morning on the issue:
Maybe you shouldn’t comment on things that aren’t “ok” https://t.co/GfqH4A8EbF
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) March 30, 2021
What absolute scumbags. Both Chris Cuomo and Andrew Cuomo. I hardly even know what to say about either of them anymore that hasn’t already been said by me, my colleagues here, and many others like Dean.
This is what privilege actually looks like on so many levels. If this isn’t worthy of impeachment I don’t know what is.