New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is once again under scrutiny over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest criticism hinges on a report by the New York Times, which details that family members of Gov. Cuomo received special access to COVID-19 testing.
“Revelations that the governor’s family and other influential people were given special access to state-run coronavirus tests early in the pandemic have drawn the interest of investigators in the New York State Assembly,” the Times reports. “On Thursday, the chair of the committee, Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine, said the preferential access for Mr. Cuomo’s family in the beginning of the pandemic would also become part of the inquiry” looking into “several allegations of sexual harassment made in recent weeks against Mr. Cuomo, as well as the manipulation by his senior staff of data related to nursing home deaths.”
Administration officials refused to comment on the report, instead saying they were focused on providing as much access to contact tracing as possible.
“We should avoid 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,” Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, said in a statement.
Among those who benefited from the priority testing program was Gov. Cuomo’s brother Chris, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March of 2020. Citing personal privacy, CNN refused to directly address the issue.
“We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, it is not surprising that in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris was showing symptoms and was concerned about possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would.”