Cuomo to earn millions for book about pandemic leadership despite controversy

New York's governor had declined to share how much he earned from the deal, but his public 2020 tax returns did.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to make $5.12 million through 2022 from his book deal with Crown Publishing. 

His book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, was released in October 2020. The governor earned $3.1 million before taxes and expenses from it last year. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes questions from reporters during a recent press conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The Democrat had previously declined to share how much he earned from the deal, but the public release of his 2020 tax returns shed light on the financial windfall. 

American Crisis fails to address Cuomo’s decision to transport patients recovering from the virus to New York nursing homes, or the governor’s office failure to disclose actual death tolls in those facilities. The controversy, coupled with several sexual misconduct charges, has earned Cuomo extensive criticism, including an impeachment probe. 

The New York Times obtained emails and an early draft of the book that indicated that the governor was writing it as early as mid-June, while the virus was still ravaging his state and the nation. 

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According to the report, many junior-level aides and staffers engaged in transcription or note-taking for the book project, which may be a violation of state law that prohibits using public resources for personal gain. 

The governor’s office told the paper several staffers “volunteered their free time” to the project. 

The number of New Yorkers residing in state-run residential facilities who died from COVID-19 was at first greatly undercounted. An initial report estimated 6,432 deaths, but the final death toll was actually 9,844. 

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As previously reported, New York Attorney General Letitia James has hired two private attorneys for an independent investigation into Cuomo’s possible sexual misconduct with staffers. The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations is also conducting its own inquiry complaints from staff. 

In one statement to New York media after an accusation months ago that he had reached under an aide’s blouse and began touching her, Cuomo said, “I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.”

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