The federal government is expanding its probe into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding on an investigation into whether Cuomo fast-tracked his family and other connected Democrats for hard-to-find COVID-19 tests even as nursing homes begged for assistance.
Cuomo is already under investigation by both the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn over reports his office deliberately hid data on how many deaths resulted from his pandemic nursing home policy, which mandated that long-term and adult care facilities accept recovering COVID-19 patients even if they were still testing positive for the virus.
Now, the feds want to know whether Cuomo, who had access to precious COVID-19 testing kits in the early days of the pandemic, connected those tests with his brother and administration allies.
“Federal investigators are examining whether New York state officials gave priority access to COVID-19 testing to some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s close associates and his brother during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter,” Fox News reported Thursday. “The review of the testing marks an expansion of the probe that the investigators, based in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York, opened in February to look at how the Cuomo administration handled COVID-19 in nursing homes.”
“Prosecutors have recently contacted and scheduled interviews with officials in the Democratic governor’s office who worked on the testing program, some of the people said,” according to Fox.
As The Daily Wire reported earlier this year, “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 … 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.”
In addition, it appears many of those requests were given priority over pleas from nursing homes that desperately needed to know whether patients returning to their facilities were putting other residents at risk. Despite direct requests, the New York Department of Health provided only enough COVID-19 testing kits for three nursing facilities, per the New York Post.
Cuomo is also facing an impeachment inquiry, and it, too, will expand to focus on Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 testing.
“The impeachment investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will also examine whether members of the Democratic governor’s family were given priority access to coronavirus tests in the first weeks of the pandemic last year,” according to a “key lawmaker” who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. “State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Democrat from Nassau County, said in an interview on Thursday that the allocation of coronavirus tests last year ‘will certainly receive some attention” in the inquiry he oversees as head of the chamber’s Judiciary Committee.'”
A spokesman for the governor told Fox News that Cuomo went “‘above and beyond’ to get people tested in the early days of the pandemic to identify cases and prevent the spread of the virus. ‘Among those we assisted were members of the general public, including legislators, reporters, state workers, and their families.'”