New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stands to make more than $5.1 million off the coronavirus leadership book he made his staff write on the state’s dime, and he’s not answering questions about it.
According to tax returns released last week, Cuomo is expected to profit $2.05 million to $2.15 million over the next two years for his bestselling book “American Crisis,” which touts his leadership through the pandemic, despite covering up COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
Crown Publishing paid Cuomo $3.12 million last year, but due to investigations into sexual assault allegations, the nursing home fatalities, and the book deal itself, they have declined to release a paperback version of the memoir or run any reprints.
Cuomo’s book deal was approved by the New York Ethics Commission under the caveat that no state resources or personnel would be utilized in association with the book, but several staffers claimed in April that book-related tasks were an expected part of their daily duties and in no way voluntary.
When news of the governor’s massive COVID profiteering broke last Monday, critics were quick to flay him on Twitter. “File Cuomo’s obscene $5 million book under true crime,” snarked the NY Post’s, Jon Levine.
“Cuomo directed his aides and DOH to alter the nursing home death toll for personal profits ($5million) and went to great extents (like threatening lawmakers) to cover up his tracks,” posted New York state Assemblyman and Cuomo foe, Ron Kim. “If we don’t impeach & hold him accountable, we are now complicit.”
At a Thursday press conference, Cuomo was asked how he would respond to critics saying he was making money off dead New Yorkers, he replied, “That’s stupid.” When pressed by another how the book might be offensive to those who lost loved ones during the pandemic, he again remarked, “I thought your question was stupid and offensive.”
Kim fired back at Cuomo in a heated Instagram post. “Governor, you know what’s ‘stupid and offensive?’ It is you directing people in the state government to write a book in the middle of COVID, chasing down a $5 million book deal in the middle of a pandemic where people are dying left and right. That’s stupid and offensive.”
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