The Washington Post published a brutal “behind the scenes” report on the priority COVID tests of Democratic Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, operated in the early months of the pandemic, including how his brother, CNN presenter Chris Cuomo, would have received “beyond” treatment. others on the so-called VIP list.
According to sources, more than “100 people” with close ties to the governor were labeled “priorities”, “special”, “inner circle” or “critics” and were “recorded on an electronic card which was separate from a database for the general public. ”
The Post reported that Dr Eleanor Adams, a senior New York physician who has been tasked by the Cuomo administration to coordinate COVID testing in nursing homes, has been “sent multiple times” to Chris Cuomo’s home. in the Hamptons, where the visits “sometimes lasted for hours.” ”
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“Among Cuomo’s parents, Chris Cuomo’s family received attention that seemed to go beyond that of others, receiving several visits to their Hamptons home from Department of Health doctor Eleanor Adams, according to two. people close to visits, ”the Post wrote. “At the time, Adams had a lead role for the state, coordinating testing issues for high-risk settings such as nursing homes. Cuomo’s home in Southampton is approximately 90 miles from New York City.
CNN spokesman Matt Dornic told the Post, “As we said before, we generally don’t comment on employee medical care and have nothing more to add.”
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Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said: “There was no ‘VIP’ program as described by the Washington Post – where priority was given it was nurses, guards, police officers. the state and other government officials at the heart of the pandemic response and those with whom they were in direct contact. with, as well as individuals suspected of having been exposed to COVID who had the capacity to spread it further and impact vital operations. ”
Despite denials from Cuomo’s office, medical staff who worked at the state’s test sites alleged “they were told to provide special access to people with ties to Cuomo,” an arrangement which, according to the Post “made them deeply uncomfortable.”
“I learned that there is no preferential medicine. We don’t say “this person is more important therefore their results are more important”. It’s just not fair, ”a COVID test nurse told the Post. “Yet here we have someone who is being pushed to the fore for no reason. It was like, “Oh, your test counts. And we know why. It’s because of who you are, not because of anything medical. ”
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The nurse was reportedly sent outside New Rochelle where COVID operations took place to “test patients in private residences and hotel rooms, with instructions that these individuals were in Cuomo’s orbit “. A nurse at a state-run testing center recalled a “frantic effort to prepare” for the arrival of Cuomo’s family.
“They were treated like royalty,” the nurse said. “I didn’t understand why they were able to skip the line. ”
Among the alleged VIPs were clothing designer and Governor-in-law Kenneth Cole, whose COVID test was ‘rushed’ to a state soldier and taken to Wadsworth’s lab in Albany.