Source: Emily Zanotti
New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, allegedly saved then-scarce COVID-19 tests for connected Democrats and Cuomo family friends while ignoring nursing home administrators begging to test patients returning from hospitals after receiving care for the novel coronavirus, according to a Monday report from the New York Post.
Cuomo is already under fire for twin scandals, one related to an order forcing nursing homes and other adult and long-term care facilities to accept patients recovering from bouts of COVID-19, regardless of whether those patients remained positive for the virus and contagious, and another related to the governor’s behavior towards female staff.
The Post reports Monday, though, that the nursing home scandal may go deeper than just the effects of Cuomo’s policy, which could have led to tens of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York, particularly among populations most at risk for the virus — the elderly and minorities. Cuomo’s administration reportedly ignored calls from medical facilities needing an increased number of COVID-19 tests, then hard to come by. At the same time, the Post reports, Cuomo and Zucker allegedly “directed that members of the governor’s family and bigwigs with ties to his administration should get priority coronavirus testing.”
“Relatives of Cuomo, including his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, one of their sisters and their mom, Matilda Cuomo, were tested several times during the early days of the pandemic,” the Post reported, citing the Albany Times-Union, which has been digging into the nursing home scandal. “The testing was done by high-level members of the state Health Department, often at private homes, the newspaper said, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the matter.”
Chris Cuomo, notably, tested positive for the novel coronavirus last spring and was forced to quarantine in his home. He hosted his CNN show from his basement while he was recovering from the virus.