CNN anchor Chris Cuomo reportedly received another benefit to being New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s brother beyond the ability to book him for chummy interviews in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Albany-based Times Union newspaper reported late Wednesday that “high-level members” of New York’s Department of Health were directed by Andrew Cuomo and state 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.”
“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,” according to the Times Union.
The “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 31. As the paper noted, the diagnosis came “at a time when many members of the public struggled to obtain coronavirus tests.”
It is unclear, however, whether Chris Cuomo himself, CNN, or New York State taxpayers funded the test that showed the positive test results.
According to the Times Union, epidemiologist Dr. Eleanor Adams was sent to the CNN anchor’s residence in Long Island to test him. It is unclear if she was the one who administered his positive test results.
State Police troopers were reportedly ordered to drive such COVID tests, which were referred to as “critical samples,” to the Wadsworth Center laboratory in Albany.
A Cuomo administration official told the Albany paper, “It’s being a little bit distorted with like a devious intent. … We made sure to test people they believed were exposed.” The official added: “All of this was being done in good faith in an effort to trace the virus.”
A CNN spokesperson told the Washington Post, “We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, 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.”
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Despite benefiting from prioritized treatment by the Cuomo administration, Chris Cuomo appeared to flout his own brother’s COVID lockdown restrictions by leaving his home as he was recovering from the virus. In April of last year, the anchor reportedly got in a verbal confrontation on the lawn of another property with a cyclist who called him out for violating the governor’s policies.
The new reporting from the Times Union also revives scrutiny of the CNN star’s close ties to the top Democratic politician. After allowing Chris Cuomo to crack jokes and perform prop comedy with his older brother nearly a dozen times on “Cuomo Prime Time,” CNN recently announced that the anchor cannot cover the growing scandals plaguing the Cuomo administration, including a controversy surrounding nursing home deaths and multiple sexual misconduct allegations.