New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo hardly needs another scandal. Yet media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times are reporting that the Cuomo family—including CNN anchor Chris Cuomo—received preferential access to coronavirus tests as New York emerged as the epicenter of the US pandemic last March. While everyday New Yorkers with mild symptoms were often told to quarantine at home without a test, the governor "arranged special access to government-run coronavirus testing for members of his family and other influential people," sources tell the Times. They note the governor's mother, Matilda, brother Chris, and at least one of his sisters were given tests. Health officials were even sent to these peoples' homes, per the Post, which notes state laws bars officials from using their position to gain privileges for themselves or others.
Chris Cuomo announced he'd tested positive for coronavirus on March 31, 2020, only after a top state doctor visited his Hamptons home, taking samples from him and his family members, per the Post. The outlet notes state troopers were recruited to transport samples to a state public health lab, though a State Police rep notes this was the case with "virtually all collections … early on." The governor's spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, describes efforts to assist "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." He adds officials were also sent to homes in New Rochelle, an initial hot spot. But the Albany Times-Union reports officials were told to "prioritize" the testing of Cuomo family members, apparently at the governor's order. (Read more Andrew Cuomo stories.)