New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly received a seven-figure advance for his much-maligned book about leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic that was written while the virus was still surging across the country.
Cuomo, who has come under fire for underreporting COVID deaths in nursing homes and then attempting to have his administration cover it up, was paid handsomely for his controversial book touting the state’s response to the pandemic, according to a new Vanity Fair story.
That report comes just as Crown Publishing announced it has stopped promoting and printing new copies of Cuomo's book, citing the nursing home scandal.
Last year, with the pandemic peaking, Cuomo announced that he was penning the book after making a deal with Crown, which is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.
Cuomo has repeatedly declined to specify how much he was paid for the book, but the new report alleges that it may have exceeded $1 million. He previously has only stated that “you’ll see (how much he was paid) on my financial disclosure,” which isn’t due until the middle of May.
The report states that Cuomo sold the book for “low- to mid-seven figures,” though the governor has said that he will donate a portion of the profits from the book to an unspecified COVID-19-related charity.
NPD BookScan was reporting that Cuomo’s book has sold nearly 50,000 physical copies, though it was unclear how many digital copies may have been purchased.
According to the report, Cuomo was allegedly approached by Crown about writing the book during the pandemic, with one of the publishing company’s editors saying that “they thought they had identified another political star.”
“Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of COVID-19 than the administration had acknowledged,” the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
New York Times reporters published a similar story, saying that “The extraordinary intervention…came just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements.”
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