Report: Feds Probing Cuomo COVID Test Favors. Daughter Rec’d Special Test for Easter Visit
Embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s brazen special treatment of his family by arranging priority China virus tests and immediate results continued even after the New York Times and other newspapers exposed the scandal in March.
And now, yesterday’s dispatch in the Times continued, as federal investigators are probing whether Cuomo was “granted special access to rapid coronavirus test results for the governor’s family and other influential people, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.”
This latest report demonstrates just how much brass Cuomo has. Caught red-handed providing special treatment for his family and friends, including CNN talker Chris, Cuomo was unfazed. He kept it up, and provided a special test for his daughter. The reason?
They had an Easter visit planned. So, one might imagine, did thousands of New Yorkers who couldn’t get tested have to forget about visiting their relatives?
No Denial, Special Treatment Continued into April
“Investigators from the Eastern District of New York had been looking into the handling of data on nursing home deaths by Mr. Cuomo’s office,” the Times report began:
More recently, their focus expanded, according to the people, to include questions surrounding a priority testing program that benefited Mr. Cuomo’s close family members, including his brother, Chris Cuomo, in the early weeks of the pandemic.
Those who received special access to testing and fast results during that period also included Giorgio DeRosa, a top Albany lobbyist and the father of the governor’s most senior aide, Melissa DeRosa, according to two people with knowledge of the tests who spoke to the New York Times.
The governor’s office has not disputed that the governor’s family and others received priority access to testing in the pandemic’s early weeks.
But Cuomo didn’t dispute reports, mostly likely, for good reason. First, the stories are true. Second, he didn’t care, and he had every intention of continuing to provide the special treatment.
Reported the Times:
On April 3, the day before Easter, one of Mr. Cuomo’s daughters, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, and her boyfriend, Tellef Lundevall, were tested at a state-run site in Albany, N.Y., and the samples were labeled a priority — “specials,” as they were known inside the Health Department — before being rushed for processing at the state’s Wadsworth Center laboratory nearby.
As with the special treatment his other family and friends received, the tests “were processed within hours,” two sources told the times. “Their reason for getting priority was personal: They were going to see the governor for the holiday.”
In other words, as the Times observed, “a system meant to ensure fast test results for high-priority cases — such as those involving possible outbreaks — had been repeatedly used for Mr. Cuomo’s immediate family and other influential people.”
Even better is the explanation for why the lucky young couple needed the special treatment. Because the personnel who regularly screen the governor’s visitors on a rapid-test machine were, like many others, off for the Easter weekend.
“The use of the priority system at Wadsworth for the couple was out of the ordinary and raised concern among some in the Health Department that the governor’s family was again receiving treatment unavailable to other New Yorkers,” the Times reported:
Health officials wondered why the couple had not gotten tested at one of the many sites now open around New York. The couple declined to comment.
“They were going to come in contact with the governor,” said Elkan Abramowitz, a private lawyer who is representing Mr. Cuomo and his aides on inquiries related to the priority testing, and in a separate inquiry into the administration’s handling of nursing home death data.
“It would be a proper exercise of discretion to give priority testing to anybody who came in contact with the governor,” Mr. Abramowitz said.
And of course, it wasn’t just Clan Cuomo who helped themselves to testing unavailable to the hoi polloi.
Top Aide’s Father
Even the relatives of Cuomo’s spear carriers get special treatment. One was, again Giorgio DeRosa, a lobbyist whose daughter is Cuomo’s top gopher.
Melissa DeRosa famously assisted Cuomo not only writing his self-aggrandizing book, American Crisis: Leadership Lesson from the Covid-19 Pandemic, but also helped concoct Cuomo’s false report about the number of nursing home deaths he caused.
DeRosa’s help on the book might also have broken the law. Assemblyman Ron Kim, a target of Cuomo’s legendary wrath, called on DeRosa to resign.
New York legislators opened an impeachment inquiry into Cuomo in March in connection with the virus deaths and multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
The latest accusations appeared in the New York Daily News a few days ago.
Published at Thu, 20 May 2021 19:09:28 +0000