Crown Publishing Group has halted its promotion of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s book about his coronavirus response due to the federal probe into New York’s nursing home scandal.
The book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” was released last October.
Even before Cuomo was being accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, The New York Times described the sales of his book as “moribund,” but the federal probe appears to be the last straw.
According to Crown Publishing Group’s Gillian Blake, there are “no plans” to reprint or reissue the book, the Times reported. Blake cited “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of Covid-related fatalities in nursing homes.”
Mr. Cuomo and his top aides concealed the actual number of nursing home residents with Covid-19 who died, excluding those who died in hospitals out of the state’s official count for all of last year.
The Cuomo administration released the data in February, after a report by the state attorney general, Letitia James, suggested widespread undercounting. A court ordered the data to be made public after a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Empire Center, a conservative think tank.
Mr. Cuomo had begun working on the book by early last summer, as he received praise for his pandemic leadership and rode a wave of national popularity fueled by his daily news conferences.
The decision to publish a triumphant account of the state’s battle against coronavirus was questioned by some political observers at the time, especially considering the crushing death toll in New York and the second wave of the disease that was looming even as Mr. Cuomo did promotional events for the book. Mr. Cuomo, however, said the book was not premature, arguing it was “halftime” in the pandemic and noting that the manuscript offered a “blueprint for going forward.” (NYT)
Cuomo has faced repeated calls to resign amid the series of scandals he’s embroiled in, but especially as sexual harassment allegations against the governor continue to mount. So far, Cuomo has refused.
The far bigger scandal, of course, is the coverup of his disastrous nursing home policy, which killed nearly 13,000 residents. How much he was reportedly paid for the book deal may have been motive for the coverup, some have suggested.
According to a Vanity Fair report, while Cuomo has not disclosed how much he made, “the talk among sources familiar with the deal is that the book sold for at least low to mid-seven figures, which is a blockbuster sum by industry standards.”
Vanity Fair reports Crown Books paid Gov Andrew Cuomo ‘at least low- to mid-seven figures’ for his COVID book. https://t.co/MaE2ua1jyQ
— Byron York (@ByronYork) March 8, 2021
That’s one hell of a motive for a cover-up. https://t.co/FOVBkq8HX0
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) March 8, 2021
— I Might Be Donna (@Crypsis12) March 8, 2021