Tags: Coronavirus | chriscuomo | andrewcuomo | covidtest | cnn

CNN Won't Say if Chris Cuomo Only Staff to Get Special COVID Test From Gov

chris cuomo white background
Chris Cuomo on the red carpet at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Thursday, 25 March 2021 03:46 PM

CNN is being tight-lipped on whether anchor Chris Cuomo is the only employee of the news channel to receive priority COVID-19 testing through the aid of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the CNN anchor's brother.

The Albany Times-Union first reported the governor giving special treatment to family members, including his brother, sister and mother. CNN issued a statement, saying, "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."

The statement brought criticism from varied corners, including, leftist media personality Keith Olbermann, who tweeted, "HOO boy who thought THIS would help?."

Fox News noted that the line "any human" would seek such help begs the question whether any other CNN employees sought or received such aid.

CNN declined comment to Fox on whether they had, Fox reported.

CNN executive vice president and chief marketing officer Allison Gollust was Cuomo's communications director before taking a position at the network, Fox noted, and Chris Cuomo is friendly with other anchors on the network.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald attacked Chris Cuomo in his newsletter, writing:

"He was the beneficiary of exactly the kind of abuse of power that journalists (at least in theory) exist to expose. And yet CNN — which has spent the year relentlessly shaming anyone who is even slightly off-key when it comes to COVID — is defending and even glorifying what their host did in corruptly obtaining for himself medical care unavailable to the broader public."

Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, faces bipartisan calls to resign over accusations of sexual harassment or misconduct from at least eight women and disclosures that his administration under-reported nursing home deaths from the pandemic.

The 63-year-old third-term governor has denied the allegations and repeatedly said he would not resign.

"We should avoid 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," the governor's spokesman Richard Azzopardi said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

Those efforts included "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," the statement added.

Among those 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," Azzopardi said.

Chris Cuomo had conducted a series of interviews — which some critics called gentle or even comical — on CNN with his older brother during the pandemic.

After the nursing home and sexual misconduct scandals broke, the network said its conflict-of-interest policy meant that Chris Cuomo could not report on the governor.

Chris Cuomo tweeted on Monday that he was on vacation. On Tuesday, his television show's official Twitter handle said he would be back next week.

Reuters contributed to this report

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CNN is being tight-lipped on whether anchor Chris Cuomo is the only employee of the news channel to receive priority COVID-19 testing through the aid of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the CNN anchor's brother...
chriscuomo, andrewcuomo, covidtest, cnn
Thursday, 25 March 2021 03:46 PM
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