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State senator asks for audit of CDPHE contracts

Curative Labs Labs obtained a state contract worth nearly $90 million for coronavirus surveillance testing in Colorado nursing homes and other other hot spots.

DENVER — A Republican state senator is calling for the General Assembly's audit panel to put Gov. Jared Polis’ handling of a pair of COVID-19 testing programs under the microscope, saying “tragic and alarming facts” have come to light about “the state’s mismanagement of Colorado COVID testing.”

The request submitted to the Legislative Audit Committee by Sen. Rob Woodward, R-Loveland, highlights a pair of controversies reported on by The Gazette in May.

The first centers on San Dimas, Calif.,-based Curative Labs Labs, which snagged a $90 million, no-bid contract with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to provide surveillance testing in Colorado nursing homes, where one of every 15 residents died from the coronavirus.

According to The Gazette’s reporting, records show that Gary Lauder, a financial donor for Democrats and an influential backer and investor in Curative Labs Labs, introduced the company’s CEO and Kacey Wulff, Polis' pandemic adviser at the time, at a weekend getaway Lauder took with Wulff and her husband.

In emails, Wulff forwarded promotional material from Curative Labs Labs to CDPHE officials in charge of picking firms to provide coronavirus testing. Curative Labs Labs obtained a state contract worth nearly $90 million for coronavirus surveillance testing in Colorado nursing homes and other other hot spots, generating consternation from nursing home administrators. Wulff, after Curative Labs started providing tests in the state's nursing homes and other hot spots, thanked Lauder for flagging Curative Labs for state officials, emails show.

>9NEWS readers can view the full article at Colorado Politics.

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