Local state senator Jordan among lawmakers that got preferential COVID-19 tests
Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that the investigation into whether the administration of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators got preferential COVID-19 testing during the early days of the pandemic has stalled. The U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, the state attorney general's office, the state Assembly's Judiciary Committee, and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics all either know of the allegations of preferential treatment, or have started investigations into whether those with connections to Cuomo were given special treatment that included dispatching nurses to their residences or other locations to test them for coronavirus. The state ethics panel, the U.S. Attorney's office, and the attorney general's office would not comment on their investigations. Earlier this month Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glavin, admitted the practice happened in a letter to Assemblyperson Charles D. Lavine, that said, "numerous state legislators — including members of the state Senate and Assembly, and members of this committee —received preferential COVID-19 testing for themselves, various staff members and family members." A source tells the Times Union that State Senator Daphne Jordan, a Republican who represents Columbia and Rensselaer counties, was among those who received priority COVID-19 tests last year. "Sen. Jordan did not ask for any preferential treatment," her office said in a statement. "Given her role in the Senate, and her extensive interactions with the public, Sen. Jordan clearly understands the importance of public health protocols and she followed them every step of the way. Sen. Jordan followed the testing recommendations she was given, and certainly did not receive any of the types of door-to-door VIP service or State Police escorts of the type that have been reported in the press." Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also admitted to getting a test. "To ensure the important work of the government continued, the majority leader got tested after a possible exposure or before a meeting with the governor, and this was always done at an existing testing site," said Mike Murphy, a spokesperson for Stewart-Cousins. Read more about this story in the Times Union.