• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Gov. Cuomo is snowed under an avalanche of scandals as new reports claim he offered his family special access to COVID-19 tests at the height of the pandemic

·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
andrew cuomo new york governor
Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the daily media briefing on July 23 in New York City. Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found himself embroiled in four major scandals in the early months of 2021.

  • The latest: It was reported Wednesday that Cuomo arranged priority COVID-19 tests for his family.

  • The scandals have tarnished Cuomo's image as a political star in the COVID-19 pandemic's early days.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has had a bad year - and the hits just keep coming.

Cuomo - after building a national profile by offering a semblance of reassurance during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic - is now watching his image and political career quickly erode.

Amid a slew of sexual-misconduct allegations, a federal investigation into his administration's undercounting of nursing-home COVID-19 deaths, and reports of a structurally unsafe bridge named after his father, Cuomo now faces a fourth major controversy.

The third-term governor is accused of arranging special access to state-administered coronavirus tests for his family members and other high-profile figures as the pandemic battered New York early last year.

According to The Washington Post, Cuomo's administration is said to have dispatched a top doctor and other state health officials to his family member's homes, including the Hamptons home of his brother, Chris Cuomo. The CNN anchor was found to have COVID-19 last March.

The accusations of coronavirus-testing corruption come on top of growing calls for his resignation, possible impeachment, and major staff departures in his administration - all just this month.

Cuomo first came under intense scrutiny earlier this year amid reports that his aides had pressured state officials to undercount the nursing-home death toll in a July report. The FBI is investigating whether the governor and his advisors provided false numbers. And The New York Times reported last week that federal investigators had subpoenaed Cuomo's office for documents regarding the data.

Next came the allegations of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, and cultivating a toxic work environment. Since his first accuser came forward, eight additional women have made accusations against Cuomo, including three former aides to the governor as well as two journalists.

Then, two weeks ago, a Times Union report found the Mario Cuomo Bridge had "structural safety" issues that could lead to its collapse and that the state had known about it for years. Since the report, the New York State Thruway Authority and the Federal Highway Administration have both said the bridge is "completely safe for the traveling public," and have emphasized they have no current safety concerns with the bridge.

Cuomo has rejected calls to resign even as they come from top New York lawmakers, including his fellow Democrats, saying doing so would be "anti-democratic."

The recent wave of events represents a dramatic departure from the status Cuomo enjoyed last year, when many praised his handling of the pandemic and his daily press conferences, especially in contrast with those of President Donald Trump.

Cuomo even published a book in October called "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," praising his own coronavirus response and saying "we have seen how the virus is confronted and defeated."

But his self-aggrandizement was premature.

New York's highest numbers of reported daily cases ended up coming months later, at the end of 2020, though deaths in the state never again reached the highs of April.

And just as that third surge began to wane in February, the tide started to turn for Cuomo. It hasn't turned back since.

Read the original article on Business Insider