Even though he is under federal investigation for botching his state’s COVID-19 response, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to make a little over $5 million for his memoir about pandemic leadership.
Cuomo’s book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” will reportedly earn him $5.12 million, according to tax and ethics documents released Monday. Crown Publishing Group, a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Penguin Random House, paid Cuomo $3.12 million in 2020. The additional $2 million will be dished out within the next two years.
The governor remains the target of a federal probe into his office’s falsification of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, after he sent COVID-positive patients into the facilities among the vulnerable populations. Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James put out a report in January that said Cuomo undercounted the deaths by more than 50 percent by concealing the number of seniors who died in hospitals. It was also reported that Cuomo’s aides contributed to the cover-up, with top aide Melissa DeRosa playing a role in communicating to staff that the data “[n]eeds to be able to stand up to scrutiny and definitively tell the story.”
The publisher acknowledged in April that Cuomo’s memoir suffered in sales and that the group had “no plans” to reprint it. It was released in October and has sold only about 45,000 copies. Cuomo has continually denied any wrongdoing with regard to his handling of the pandemic. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called out Cuomo for his book deal money and said the attorney general’s office will be probing into the details.
“Well, I can tell you what I think it was. I think it was state-sponsored literature. This guy clearly depended upon public employees to do a lot of the work, and that’s not acceptable, I mean that’s not even close,” de Blasio said Monday. “You don’t need a lot of ethics training to figure out that’s not acceptable. So obviously, the attorney general and the legislator will now be looking at that.”
Cuomo is also under investigation for alleged sexual harassment. Four accusers will testify under oath and were subpoenaed this week. Just as Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing in the nursing-home scandal, he has denied any inappropriate sexual behavior. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s son Andrew Giuliani, a Republican, announced a gubernatorial bid Tuesday.