It’s business as usual in the Hamptons — especially if you’re rich, famous and infected with COVID-19.
Chris Cuomo, who tested positive weeks ago, has turned his prime-time CNN show — broadcast from the basement of his $2.9 million Southampton home — into a freak performance piece: Some nights he attempts to don the wartime mantle of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew; other nights he claims to be a broken man, relaying tales of shivering so hard he chipped a tooth, shedding 13 pounds in days, hallucinating conversations with his dead dad.
Yet Cuomo, like fellow infected Hamptonite and self-important news personality George Stephanopoulos, has decided quarantine cannot and should not contain the likes of him.
As lowly New Yorkers continue to heed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s orders to stay indoors, at great personal and economic cost, his sick brother decided there was no better time than Easter Sunday to check out undeveloped property he bought in East Hampton.
Again: Undeveloped property. All unnecessary construction is halted. There was literally no reason for Chris Cuomo to be there.
Yet he was infuriated when a nobody — just a 65-year-old man riding his bicycle, maintaining social distance — stopped and called Cuomo out.
“I said to him, ‘Your brother is the coronavirus czar, and you’re not even following his rules — unnecessary travel,’ ” the man, identified only as David, told The Post.
“Who the hell are you?! I can do what I want!”
No statement better sums up the general attitude and demeanor of the super-wealthy and famous out here in the best of times: I’m somebody. You’re nobody. The rules don’t apply to me.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, this crisis has blown open a formerly taboo topic: class warfare in the Hamptons, the epic divide between the haves and have-nots. The great upside is that locals and civilians no longer bow in the face of celebrity — a currency that only holds its value if both sides prop it up.
“If you know someone’s wife has corona and the wife has been very very sick with it, do you think that the husband should be out at pharmacies picking up prescriptions when the pharmacy delivers and does pick-up? … If your answer is yes than [sic] please tweet GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS [sic] to stay the hell home!!!!!!!!!”
That Facebook message, posted last Friday by local author Carrie Doyle, has since been deleted. But Doyle took to Facebook again on Monday, after Stephanopoulos announced he too was infected.
“Thanks for letting me know now that George Stephanopolous [sic] has admitted he tested positive for Corona,” she wrote. “Below is a picture of George trespassing on the Maidstone golf course on Saturday. He was not wearing his mask … SO IS THIS A GOOD GUY OR WHAT?”
After fleeing to her beachfront Hamptons home in late March, Sarah Jessica Parker was photographed grocery shopping, barefaced, twice over four days. Social influencer Arielle Charnas left the city after testing positive, came out here, and refused to self-quarantine — instead posting let-them-eat-cake selfies, including one captioned “Fresh air,” from her new retreat.
Online backlash caused one-time corporate partner Nordstrom to announce they would not be working with her again, and Charnas has since issued an apology.
It may or may not be false remorse, but it’s a stance other infected famous Hamptonites might want to adopt. Especially these overpaid so-called journalists, who clearly missed one of the trade’s basic rules: You are never the story.
Yet here’s George and his wife Ali, posting their covidiocy all over social media, appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and uploading a video of Ali leaving quarantine — from her luxurious bedroom in a gorgeous, wealthy hamlet — as “Survivor” plays in the background.
Meanwhile, millions of newly jobless Americans line up for health care and food banks. Way to read the room.
Chris Cuomo — whose wife Cristina has since tested positive, and who took to her vanity wellness website Purist to thank Don Lemon and Jeffrey Sachs for doing their grocery shopping — returned to the air right after The Post’s exclusive interview with the man Cuomo called “some loser, jackass, fat-tire biker.”
Did Cuomo mention this blowup? No. Did he mention that the bicyclist has just filed a police report in East Hampton? Nope. And he completely ignored his near-simultaneous meltdown, on radio, over hating his high-paying glamour job at CNN, which isn’t “worth my time.”
Surely CNN can help him out with that.
No: Instead of addressing this highly entertaining, wholly self-generated content, Cuomo went on air to bloviate, lecture and hector. He issued what he surely sees as his nightly Churchillian war cry — “together, as ever, as one.” He stated that “how we get through this … is to suck it up and do what’s hard and do what’s boring.”
Memo to Chris and his ilk: Heal thyself.