New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a statue of unfazed whiteness.
As it stands, Cuomo is facing several claims of sexual harassment; a federal investigation into his administration’s misrepresentation of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes; a bridge named after his father is believed to be trash; and now, it’s looking like Cuomo used all his political weight to ensure that his family and important friends got COVID-19 testing and assistance when resources were scarce.
According to the New York Times, someone in Cuomo’s administration directed top health officials to test his brother, Chris, an anchor at CNN, Cuomo’s mother, one of his sisters and some of Cuomo’s important and rich friends in the early days of the virus back when testing was few and far between. Not only were they tested, they didn’t even have to leave their homes as testing was arranged at their private residences.
NBC News notes “Priority testing was also given to the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Patrick Foye, and the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Rick Cotton, and his wife, the report said. Members of the media, state legislators and their staff were also tested.”
Administration officials say that all of this is just a big misunderstanding, as no one was given preferential treatment as
rich, well-connected white people always get to skip the line public nurses were being sent to anyone who were symptomatic in New Rochelle, the location of the state’s first outbreak.
“It’s being a little bit distorted with, like, a devious intent. ... We made sure to test people they believed were exposed,” an aide in Cuomo’s office told the Albany Times Union. “All of this was being done in good faith in an effort to trace the virus.”
Richard Azzopardi, a senior aide to Cuomo, called the allegations “insincere efforts to rewrite the past.
“In the early days of this pandemic, when there was a heavy emphasis on contact tracing, we were absolutely going above and beyond to get people testing — including in some instances going to people’s homes, and door-to-door in places like New Rochelle — to take samples from those believed to have been exposed to COVID in order to identify cases and prevent additional ones,” Azzopardi said. “Among those we assisted were 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.”
Cuomo’s brother Chris tested positive for the coronavirus in March 2020 and isolated himself in his home’s basement.
What’s funniest about all of this (and by funny, I mean totally fucked up) is CNN spokesman Matt Dornic’s statement that an anchor may have received preferential treatment.
“We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, it is not surprising that in the earliest days of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, Dornic said. “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.”
Yes, but “any human being” isn’t the brother of the governor of New York and not “any human being” can jump the line. If only I could figure out the value-of-life matrix that determines who gets priority treatment in times of crisis, but it’s starting to look like well-connected, rich white people never have to die.
Meanwhile, your boy is still in office and the scandals just keep mounting.