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Impeachment Probe Into Gov. Cuomo Now Includes Reports Of Prioritized COVID Tests For Family, Friends

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The investigation surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expanded as an Assembly impeachment probe now includes reports that the governor arranged VIP COVID tests for family and friends; CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: The investigation surrounding Governor Cuomo expands as an assembly impeachment probe now includes reports the governor arranged a VIP COVID test for family and friends. CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer with this story.

ANDREW CUOMO: Nice to see you, Doctor.

MARCIA KRAMER: Governor Cuomo garnered a lot of political attention when he got himself tested for COVID-19 on television. But what his then adoring admirers didn't know was that months earlier, when tests were incredibly scarce, the governor hatched a plan to let family and other influential New Yorkers jump the line. The VIP list, according to the Albany "Times-Union," included his mother Matilda, his brother CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, and at least one sister. Cuomo's COVID clip got white-glove treatment. Top flight health department officials made house calls, and Chris Cuomo's case, South Hampton.

State troopers rushed the samples to an Albany lab. Lab workers ordered to work late and move the so-called critical samples to the head of the line. Chris was diagnosed with COVID in late March 2020.

ANDREW CUOMO: This is going to be fine. You're going to get through it.

MARCIA KRAMER: Port Authority head Rick Cotton and MTA head Pat Foye also got VIP treatment. Both tested positive. A spokesman for Governor Cuomo denied preferential treatment saying, quote, "We were absolutely going above and beyond to get people testing, including in some instances going to people's homes. Among those we assisted were members of the general public, including legislators, reporters, state workers and their families."

Assemblyman Ron Kim, who had not yet had a falling out with Cuomo over nursing home deaths, said that when he and his wife got sick last year, they had to call the state COVID hotline to get a test.

RON KIM: It took them almost a month-- one month-- to call us back to set up an appointment. That's what most New Yorkers were going through, just dealing with getting sick by themselves, isolated, not knowing what's going to happen to them.

MARCIA KRAMER: The Assembly Special Committee on Impeachment is going to add the VIP testing issues to its probe of sexual harassment and nursing home fatalities.

I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.