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Commentary

CNN Defends Chris Cuomo for Participating in Brother's COVID Scandal

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CNN defended host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday following a report that he and others close to embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York were given preferential access to COVID-19 tests in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Cuomo family, including Chris, the governor’s mother and at least one of his sisters were each given access to tests that were conducted by state health officials inside their home, the Times-Union of Albany reported.

Not only were they given access to tests that commoners couldn’t get, but their tests were also treated as priority specimens — meaning they got their results back before others, according to the report.

CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic issued a statement in defense of his company’s employee with regard to the scandal.

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“We generally do not get involved in the medical decisions of our employees. However, it is not surprising that 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,” Dornic said on behalf of the network.

According to the Times-Union report, Chris Cuomo was tested inside of his home in the Hamptons — even as other New Yorkers were forced to sit and wonder whether they were infected with what was then a novel disease with a reported high death rate that the world was still trying to figure out.

March of 2020 was a terrifying time for a great many people. Chris Cuomo reportedly had the inside track to what most people could have only dreamed of.

Do you think Chris Cuomo should be fired over his connection to the scandal?

“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, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter,” wrote Brendan J. Lyons with the Times-Union.

“The medical officials enlisted to do the testing, which often took place at private residences, included Dr. Eleanor Adams, an epidemiologist who graduated from Harvard Medical School and in August became a special adviser to Zucker,” Lyons wrote. “Adams conducted testing on Cuomo’s brother Chris at his residence on Long Island, according to the two people,” Lyons added in his reporting.

The reporter cited three sources for the story.

Chris Cuomo, after testing positive for the coronavirus last March, used his home as a broadcast center as he dramatically played up his infection. Upon returning to the CNN studio, he hosted his brother several times where the pair goofed off while elderly New Yorkers died after the governor ordered them to bunk with COVID-positive patients.



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The brotherly meetings were not exactly a display of journalistic integrity. Then again, Chris Cuomo is anything but a professional — while Andrew Cuomo now has some obvious issues of his own.

Despite portraying himself as a journalist with a passion for the undeserved among us, the younger Cuomo has never been much more than the privileged little brother of a man in power.

What do privileged brothers get? They get the first of everything — including reported preferential tests denied to the general public and then to have their employer write off a brewing scandal has a nothing burger.

Despite all of Chris Cuomo’s pandering to the people he attempts to convince are victims of a system that doesn’t care about them, when a pandemic spread across the world, he reportedly line-jumped and pulled the little brother card.

Is there a better example of privilege than that?

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor and a producer in radio, television and digital media. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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