New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, working with the New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, allegedly directed health officials to prioritize the governor's family and those with ties to the administration for coronavirus testing according to a Wednesday report from New York media.
The Albany Times-Union, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, reported that family members who received prioritized testing in the early days of the pandemic included CNN's Chris Cuomo, his mother, and at least one of his sisters. One source told the outlet that tests from family members or associates were labelled as "critical samples" and processed ahead of others.
Associates of the governor who received prioritized testing included Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and his wife; and Patrick Foye, head of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authorities, and his wife, as well as some unnamed media members and state legislators.
Richard Azzopardi, a top adviser to Cuomo, has denied the allegations.
"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.