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New York Gov Hochul paid double to give major campaign donor $600M for COVID-19 tests

Administration quickly agreed to shell out for inflated tests.

Published: September 10, 2022 12:00pm

Updated: September 10, 2022 12:46pm

New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration agreed to pay a heavily inflated amount for a massive order of COVID-19 tests —a bonanza deal that went to one of the governor’s major campaign donors.

Hochul’s office in December "agreed to pay $338 million to Digital Gadgets," a New Jersey-based company, for 26 million COVID tests. Ultimately, the state government would shell out $637 million to the company. 

Digital Gadgets is run by Charlie Tebele, a major donor of Hochul’s whose family has donated nearly $300,000 to her campaign, according to the Albany Times Union.

The paper noted that last winter "three other companies sold tests to the state Department of Health last winter for $7.80 each or less," while Tebele’s company charged over $12 per test. 

Hochul herself has denied any improper scheme related to the contract. 

"I was not aware that this was a company that had been supportive of me," she said. "I don't keep track of that. My team, they have no idea."

The Times Union noted that several individuals also linked to Tebele, including his wife, have donated heavily to Hochul’s campaign.

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