Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo looked to cash in with his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” only four days after aides allegedly covered up nursing home data in the Empire State, according to a new story in The New York Times.
Cuomo’s most senior aides rewrote a report originally written by state health officials to remove a reference to 9,000 nursing home deaths “just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements,” the Times reported.
Cuomo had been under fire for an executive order during the beginning of the pandemic that prevented nursing homes from rejecting people with coronavirus. The move was eventually reversed after thousands of nursing home residents died. The report by the state Health Department was released in July, and the governor began discussing a possible book on leadership only four days later, according to the report.
“I am now thinking about writing a book about what we went through,” Cuomo said, according to the Times.
At that time he was already “seeking formal approval from a state ethics agency to earn outside income from book sales,” the Times reported, citing “a person with knowledge of his planning at the time.”
Cuomo’s book was released in October. It raised eyebrows even before the fudged data was revealed, with some critics describing its release as premature given that the nation was preparing for a surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The focus on the Democratic governor comes as he also faces several sexual harrasment allegations. Initially, CNN and the governor’s brother, anchor Chris Cuomo, gave the controversies little to no airtime. Over the past two weeks the liberal network has given them more attention, but previously it gave the younger Cuomo free rein to conduct friendly, comical interviews with the governor.
Cuomo’s book became a New York Times bestseller and Amazon gave the once-popular governor the honor of making the book an “Editors’ pick” in its nonfiction section.
Cuomo’s political woes began in January, after New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report accusing his administration of undercounting the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths by as much as 50%. The administration has since been accused of a cover-up, which is reportedly being investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney.
Matters got worse in recent weeks when the governor was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment.
On Thursday night the Times and The Wall Street Journal separately reported that Cuomo’s administration influenced state health officials to fudge the nursing home data as the governor attempts to navigate dueling scandals.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump Jr. called out the publishers of Cuomo’s book.
“With everything that is coming to light, when will @CrownPublishing be cancelling @andrewcuomo’s contract?” Trump tweeted Monday night.
The former president’s son then claimed that only conservatives get canceled, pointing to Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., whose book deal with Simon & Schuster was canceled after he objected to electoral votes for President Biden on Jan. 6.
“Cancel culture is awful, but all I’m saying is that the rules should be applied equally,” Trump Jr. told the Daily Wire. “Simon & Schuster cancelled their contract with Josh Hawley, but Crown is going to stick by a credibly accused serial sexual harasser just because he’s a Democrat? What kind of message does that send? What are the rules? That’s all I’m asking.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.