Cuomo family got VIP access to corona testing at pandemic outset: reports

The Washington Post reported that the New York governor’s brother Chris Cuomo, among others, received priority testing for the coronavirus.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s brother, Chris Cuomo, 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 Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The Post report alleged that the New York governor extended preferential treatment to family members with regard to coronavirus testing at the outset of the pandemic.

According to a report by The Albany Times-Union, “High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.”

Among those named in the the Times-Union report were Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his wife, in addition to Patrick J. Foye, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Cuomo’s family members, including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters, “were also tested by top health department officials — some several times,” said a source quoted by the Times-Union.

The corona testing revelations are the latest allegation plaguing the New York Democrat, who declined to say Wednesday what his office is doing to ensure a safe work environment for two female aides who have accused him of sexually harassing or groping them.

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Speaking to reporters from his Manhattan office, Cuomo said “there are rules” about how employers are supposed to handle such complaints, then turned to his special counsel, Beth Garvey, to elaborate.

“Certainly every individual who comes forward and makes a complaint is protected from retaliation and we are making sure that occurs in this case as well,” Garvey said.

They didn’t answer a question about whether the women were working from home or offer specifics on how the situation was being handled.
State and federal law protects employees from retaliation, like being fired or demoted, for complaining about harassment.

Several women who worked for Cuomo have accused him of making inappropriate comments about their looks, giving them unwanted hugs or kisses, or making comments they interpreted as gauging their interest in an affair.

Among them are two aides who still work in the governor’s office. One, who has yet to speak publicly, reportedly said the governor groped her at the Executive Mansion last summer. Another, Alyssa McGrath, said Cuomo looked down her shirt and made suggestive remarks to her.

The governor has denied touching anyone inappropriately but said he’s sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable.

He insisted Wednesday, in response to a reporter’s question, that the scandal and ongoing investigations by the state attorney general and state Assembly were not interfering with his ability to govern.

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“The reality is the exact opposite,” he said.

McGrath’s lawyer, Mariann Wang, said it was vital that “the governor and his office allow the attorney general’s lawyers to do their work without interference, and take no action against any victim or witness who has come forward.”

“Ms. McGrath has always feared retaliation given the history and public reports of how prior complaints have been handled. There’s every indication that the “rules” that the Governor now invokes were not applied to protect those women,” she said.