Publisher to Pay Cuomo $5 Million for COVID Book Flop

'Luv Guv' inked multimillion-dollar deal while covering up nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) / Getty Images
May 17, 2021

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) will make $5 million for a book he wrote about his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, while his administration hid the true number of nursing home deaths in the state.

Crown Publishing Group will pay Cuomo $5.12 million for American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to his office. The New York governor was paid $3.12 million of that sum for the book in 2020, according to tax filings, of which he contributed $500,000 to charity and $1 million to a trust for his daughters. The remaining $2 million will be paid to him over the next two years.

Cuomo is under investigation by the New York attorney general's office for falsifying the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in the state. An initial report by Attorney General Letitia James said the governor's administration undercounted the deaths by over 50 percent by hiding how many nursing home residents died in hospitals. According to the New York Times, Cuomo's aides also intervened on multiple occasions to obscure the true number of coronavirus deaths, stalling data from reaching state health officials and legislators.

The governor faced calls for his resignation in March in the wake of sexual harassment allegations. At least four women have now accused Cuomo of sexual impropriety, with one of them accusing him of groping her in the governor's mansion. He allegedly asked another when alone in his office if she "had ever been with an older man." He promised to "fully cooperate" with a review by the state attorney general's office into the matter and apologized for his behavior, but has rebuffed calls to resign.

Cuomo's book, which was published in October, has sold around 45,000 copies. In it, he claims criticism of his state's nursing home death toll was a "lie" concocted by "Trump people" and Fox News.

Updated 5/17/21 at 6:24 p.m.