Federal investigators are examining whether New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration granted his close family members, including brother and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, and influential people special access to rapid coronavirus test results in the early weeks of the pandemic, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Giorgio DeRosa, a top Albany lobbyist and the father of the governor’s most senior aide, Melissa DeRosa, and Cuomo's daughter, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, and her boyfriend, Tellef Lundevall, also received access to rapid test results.
Cuomo's office has not disputed that his family received expedited access to the results.
“They were going to come in contact with the governor,” Elkan Abramowitz, a private lawyer who is representing Cuomo and his aides on inquiries related to the priority testing, told the Times.
“It would be a proper exercise of discretion to give priority testing to anybody who came in contact with the governor,” he added.
Cuomo’s administration was already being probed by investigators from the Eastern District of New York for its handling of data on nursing home deaths.
Documents have been subpoenaed from the governor's office, FBI agents have contacted lawyers for Cuomo’s senior staff and interviewed high-level officials from the state health department, the New York Times reported, citing four people ''with knowledge of the investigation.''
The special treatment for Cuomo’s family has lasted far longer than previously known, through at least last month, the Times found.
Cuomo’s daughter, Mariah Kennedy Cuomo and Lundevall were tested on April 3 at a state-run site in Albany, according to the newspaper. The samples were labeled a priority — “specials,” as they were known inside the Health Department — before being processed at a nearby state laboratory.
The samples were processed within hours. The reason for getting priority was personal -- both were going to see the governor for Easter.
Prosecutors have recently scheduled interviews with officials in Cuomo’s office who worked on the testing program, sources said.
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