Kenneth Cole Among the Cuomo Family Members Who Jumped the COVID Test Line


The designer Kenneth Cole has had a relatively quiet few years by his standards. His namesake fashion house, founded in 1982, hasn’t had a Fashion Week show since 2014, and in 2018, he stepped down as chairman of the AIDS research charity AmFAR after serving on its board for more than 30 years. AIDS activists called for his resignation after it emerged that Cole had struck a deal with Harvey Weinstein in 2015 to funnel proceeds from an AmFAR gala to a theater staging a musical that Weinstein was producing.

The downtime may have given Cole and his wife, Maria Cuomo Cole—sister of governor Andrew and CNN anchor Chris—more opportunities to stay in at their 11.35-acre estate in Purchase, New York. It’s about a two-hour drive to Albany, where, as The Washington Post reported on Monday, a state trooper rushed Cole’s lab sample for coronavirus testing.

According to the paper, Cole was among those close to the governor (including Chris) who received priority testing early in the pandemic. One nurse said that in late spring last year, they saw members of Cuomo’s extended family at a state-run testing center have their samples quickly ferried to the Wadsworth Center, a state lab in Albany. “They were treated like royalty,” the nurse said of Cuomo’s family. Another nurse told the Post that staff at the testing center hurried to help Cole by providing him a priority test and having a state trooper drive it to Wadsworth.

A representative for Cole didn’t immediately return a request for comment from . When the Post asked Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi about the governor’s family members getting preferential treatment at testing centers, Azzopardi replied, “To the extent this occurred, the Governor was not aware.”

As Cuomo has navigated his spate of recent scandals, including a growing list of sexual-misconduct allegations and a federal investigation of his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, his brother-in-law’s faith doesn’t appear to have wavered. (Cuomo has denied all the misconduct accusations but apologized for comments he made.) “@NYGovCuomo led us through COVID-19, bringing us all light when there was only darkness… & has made NY the progressive capital of the world…,” Cole tweeted a few weeks ago. “He stood up for us, now we need to stand up for him. Please RT. #DueProcess #presumptionOfInnocense [sic]. #JusticeForCuomo”

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