By Dick Brennan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New reports say Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s administration gave special treatment to family members and power brokers to get COVID-19 tests when nobody else could.

The governor always emphasized the importance of testing for the coronavirus, even getting tested himself on television.

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But during the early days of the pandemic, when tests were hard to come by for the average person, the Albany Times Union reports that the governor arranged for members of his family and other well-connected people to be tested. Top state doctors and health officials were allegedly sent to their homes to do it.

They were said to include the governor’s mother, Matilda, and his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who was tested at his Hamptons house.

The younger Cuomo was diagnosed with COVID in late March of 2020, and the governor would often appear on his show.

“This is gonna be fine. You are gonna get through it,” the governor told his brother on April 2, 2020.

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Those tested also included Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as well as Pat Foye, head of the MTA.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor denied preferential treatment —

“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 — 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.”

 

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State troopers, national guardsman and public health nurses were also said to be involved in doing the testing and transporting of samples.

Dick Brennan