During a press conference, WCBS 880 radio reporter Peter Haskell confronted the embattled governor on the controversy.
“Was it appropriate for your family and friends to be tested for COVID when others could not?” Haskell asked. “Were you involved in this or were you aware of it?”
Cuomo responded by saying that the New York State Assembly was “looking at the testing issue” and he “did not want to get ahead of them.”
The governor then attempted to distance himself from the scandal.
“I was not involved in the testing program to that intimate level,” Cuomo said
Notably, the governor did not answer whether or not he was aware of the prioritized testing.
Bombshell reporting by the Albany-based Times Union newspaper and The Washington Post last month outlined a “behind-the-scenes” operation where those closest to the governor received “VIP” treatment even as ordinary New Yorkers struggled to obtain COVID tests.
The Post reported that Dr. Eleanor Adams, a top New York physician tasked by the Cuomo administration with coordinating COVID testing in nursing homes, was “dispatched multiple times” to Chris Cuomo’s home in the Hamptons, where visits “sometimes stretched hours.”
“Among Cuomo relatives, Chris Cuomo’s family received attention that appeared to go beyond that of others, receiving multiple visits at their Hamptons home from Department of Health physician Eleanor Adams, according to two people familiar with the visits,” the Post wrote. “At the time, Adams had a senior role for the state, coordinating testing issues for high-risk settings such as nursing homes. Cuomo’s home in Southampton is roughly 90 miles from New York City.”
CNN appeared to shrug off the scandal when it first broke.
“We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, it is not surprising in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, when Chris was showing symptoms and was concerned about possible spread, he turned to anyone he could for advice and assistance, as any human being would,” CNN head of strategic communications Matt Dornic told Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple.
In March 2020, the “Cuomo Prime Time” host was diagnosed with the virus. It is unclear whether Chris Cuomo himself, CNN, or New York taxpayers funded the positive COVID test.