Did CNN Cover Up Gov. Cuomo’s Disgusting Abuse Of Power Early In The Pandemic?

Written by K. Walker on March 25, 2021

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While CNN was busy boosting the profile of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at the beginning of the pandemic, he was doing some very awful things behind the scenes that the cable news network seemed to know about but never mentioned.

That might be because they may have been beneficiaries of his abuse of power.

We all know about the deadly nursing home order — today (March 25) marks the one-year anniversary, by the way — the cover-up of that order, the eight women coming forward about sexual harassment, and alleged bullying of accusers.

While all of that is just awful and the nursing home order alone should shame him enough to step down, this is a whole new kettle of fish.

It appears that Governor Cuomo ordered health officials to prioritize COVID tests for his family and people close to him when the same tests were difficult to obtain by the average New Yorker. Not only were they getting priority access, but these tests were being done in the comfort of their homes while many New Yorkers including front-line workers were waiting in long lines potentially spreading or contracting the virus.

The Times Union reports:

High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times, the sources said.

The medical officials enlisted to do the testing, which often took place at private residences, included Dr. Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist who graduated from Harvard Medical School and in August became a special adviser to Zucker. Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people.

“If their job was to go test an old lady down in New Rochelle, that’s one thing — that’s actually good,” one of the people with knowledge of the matter said. “This was not that.”
Source: Times Union

That looks very not good.

The Washington Post reports the rather peculiar CNN statement on this situation.

Among those who benefited from the priority testing program was Cuomo’s brother Chris, who was diagnosed with covid-19 in late March of 2020. The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Chris Cuomo declined to comment.

In a statement late Wednesday, CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said: “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, 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.”

Maybe the CNN execs realized that they crapped the bed by allowing Fredo to lob softball questions and crack jokes on a primetime cable news show with his governor brother which is a clear violation of even a semblance of journalistic integrity.

Or maybe…

Others who were given priority testing include Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his wife, as well as Patrick J. Foye, head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Members of the media, state legislators and their staff also were tested in similar fashion, although there is no indication those tests were done by high-level health department officials.

Source: Times Union (Emphasis Added)

How many other CNN employees were shunted to the front of the line for testing?

With the way that the Cuomo administration handles things, we may never know.

While Governor Cuomo was giving premier access to tests to “VIPs” in swanky penthouses in Manhattan — who were referred to as “specials” — the Cuomo Bro Comedy Show was airing regularly on CNN.

Remember this classic episode?

Recall that in late March 2020, Governor Cuomo confirmed in his daily coronavirus briefing that his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for the virus. Chris then continued to broadcast his show from his basement.

Interestingly, though, while he made a big to-do on his show about emerging — almost Christ-like — from his basement and reuniting with his family once his supposed quarantine was over, he had clearly broken quarantine and gone out in public while he knew that he was COVID-positive.

What happened to Chris for violating quarantine rules? Absolutely nothing.

See? He’s a VIP and you don’t call out VIPs on their bad behavior. You treat them better than the plebs.

The New York Post’s Karol Markowicz posted a lengthy thread about this on Twitter.

[As an aside, enjoy this Kayleigh McEnanay roasting of Fredo Cuomo about his dangerous, “naturopathic” woo-woo COVID regimen.]

WaPo continues:

The same doctor who tested Chris Cuomo, Eleanor Adams, now a top adviser to the state health commissioner, also was enlisted to test multiple other Cuomo family members, according to two people familiar with the program.

The coronavirus test specimens were then rushed — at times driven by state police troopers — to the Wadsworth Center, a state public health lab in Albany, where they were processed immediately, the people said. At times, employees in the state health laboratory were kept past their shifts until late into the night to process results of those close to Cuomo, two people said.

The specimens were shrouded in secrecy, marked only by initials or numbers. Results were then provided to the family members, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Source: Washington Post

According to seasoned journalist Zack Fink, this priority testing using state resources clearly shows that the “Luv Gov” violated state anti-nepotism laws.

This is just more and more scandal piled onto Cuomo and he’s still somehow surviving. It’s even more than infanticide-promoting, klansman costume-wearing, Michael Jackson blackface-impersonating Governor Northam endured and came through.

How much scandal can one Governor take and not step down in humiliation?

It looks like we just might find out.

As Glenn Greenwald points out, this is also damning for CNN. Greenwald calls CNN’s defense of Chris Cuomo’s special treatment “grotesque” in his latest piece on Substack.

Ponder what they are saying. It is unsurprising that someone in Chris Cuomo’s position would want special privileges. Of course it’s unsurprising: everyone has a motive for wanting special privileges for themselves. The same exact defense CNN offered here could be made if Chris Cuomo had instead bribed state officials to provide him special medical treatment unavailable to the general public, or if he had broken into the home of another sick person to steal their medication that he could not obtain for himself. It would be understandable that a person with COVID would want to do this, in the sense that it is a rational motive. But the fact that Cuomo had a rational motive for doing this does not make it less corrupt, unethical or amoral. There are all sorts of things that it may be “understandable” for us to want for ourselves that the law, morality and/or ethics nonetheless prevents us from obtaining.

CNN’s attempt to cast this as an invasion of Cuomo’s private medical decisions is insultingly dishonest. Nobody cares about this because they are interested in what took place in the intimate setting between Cuomo and his physician. The issue — obviously — is that this person who CNN presents as a “journalist” clearly abused his influence and power, along with his brother, by using state resources for his own benefit and jumping in front of a line that almost certainly deprived people more in need of getting COVID tests at a time when they were scarce. The issue is not Cuomo’s medical privacy but the abuse of power in which he participated with his brother, the Governor of New York.

Source: Glenn Greenwald Substack

He’s right. CNN expects corruption and back-scratching between politicians and members of the corporate press — what does that tell you?

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker