Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s family continued to get special entry to fast COVID-19 testing till at the very least April — after the politician got here under fire for pulling the same move through the early days of the pandemic, in response to a report Wednesday.
One of the governor’s daughters, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, and her boyfriend, Tellef Lundevall, submitted precedence samples to a state-run web site in Albany on April 3, in response to the New York Times.
The VIP samples — recognized within the Health Department as “specials” — had been rushed to the state’s premier lab, Wadsworth Center, and processed inside hours, the paper reported.
The couple acquired the special remedy as a result of they had been going to see the Cuomo on Easter weekend and there was no one round to do on-site testing, the Governor’s workplace advised The Post.
But high-priority testing standing at state labs is meant to be meant for pressing circumstances — together with ones linked to doable outbreaks — not people who find themselves merely well-connected or influential, the paper reported.
The transfer got here simply days after information broke that Cuomo directed members of his family and bigwigs with ties to his administration get priority COVID-19 testing final spring, again when the virus was raging and the assessments had been arduous to get.
That’s one cause Health Department employees had been alarmed by the request to hurry assessments for Cuomo’s daughter and her boyfriend, in response to the paper. Others on the state-run web site referred to as it irritating, contemplating testing is now extensively obtainable within the state, in response to the paper.
Cuomo’s guests are routinely examined on a transportable fast check machine on the Capitol or the governor’s mansion— however no one was round to function them as a result of it was a vacation weekend, the governor’s workplace advised The Post.
Elkan Abramowitz, a personal lawyer who’s representing Cuomo, referred to as use of the precedence label “proper” protocol.
“They were going to come in contact with the governor,” mentioned Abramowitz advised the Times.
“It would be a proper exercise of discretion to give priority testing to anybody who came in contact with the governor,” Mr. Abramowitz mentioned.
Cuomo and his CNN anchor brother, Chris Cuomo, together with certainly one of their sisters and their mother, Matilda Cuomo, reportedly got precedence COVID-19 assessments a number of occasions through the early days of the pandemic, it was revealed in March
The accusations reportedly led Attorney General Letitia James to final month name on New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics to research the doable abuse of testing protocol — and has since prompted a probe by federal prosecutors.
Giorgio DeRosa, a distinguished Albany lobbyist and the daddy of the governor’s most senior aide, Melissa DeRosa, additionally acquired the special fast testing in March 2020, in response to the Times report — an allegation that had not been beforehand reported.
An official from Cuomo’s workplace advised The Post that, in DeRosa’s case, the precedence testing was obligatory as a result of he interacted with somebody who days later was hospitalized and later died from COVID-19.
The governor’s workplace has acknowledged that Cuomo and his family got precedence entry to testing through the early weeks of the pandemic.