New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will cash in on his book about leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of more than $5 million.
Cuomo, who has drawn criticism for patting his administration on the back by writing the book during the height of the outbreak, disclosed that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” and will pocket another $2 million over the next two years on the book.
Cuomo, who has come under fire for underreporting COVID deaths in nursing homes and then attempting to have his administration cover it up, had his book pulled by his publisher amid the controversy, has faced constant criticism since his memoir was published last fall.
- Earlier story - COVID-19: Cuomo Got Seven-Figure Advance For His Controversial Book Now Pulled From Publication
Cuomo had previously declined to say how much money he made by writing the book, with his announcement coming only as his mandatory financial disclosures were scheduled to be sent to a state ethics agency. Cuomo’s tax returns were also released on Monday, May 17.
According to a Cuomo spokesperson, the governor net approximately $1.5 million from the book deal after taxes and expenses. Of that profit, $500,000 was donated to the United Way of New York State and the rest was put into a trust for his three daughters.
- Original story - COVID-19: Aide Hid Nursing Home Death Toll As Cuomo Sought $4M Book Deal, New Report Says
From the time Cuomo's book came out he was criticized for penning a book touting his performance while the crisis was ongoing. Since then he's drawn more criticism over the involvement of some of his top staff members in prepping the book for publication on time.
It is unclear if the aides were paid for their contributions to the book, with the governor and his administration stating that any work put in was on a volunteer basis.
In April, the New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, authorized New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the role some of Cuomo's aides played in “drafting, editing, sale and promotion” of the book.
NPD BookScan has 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 reports, 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 in March.
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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