Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) made an eyebrow-raising statement on Thursday in a speech to fellow governors, a statement some have seen as tone deaf.
The New York Post reported that Cuomo said leading the coronavirus pandemic in New York was a “tremendous personal benefit,” a jarring claim considering how many New Yorkers died under Cuomo’s watch, particularly in nursing homes.
“Very few people were going through what we went through and we went through it together,” Cuomo said during his speech. “And speaking for myself, it was a tremendous personal benefit.”
Part of that “tremendous personal benefit” was Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal about his pandemic “leadership.” New York’s handling of the pandemic was second only to New Jersey in terms of how many people died, and Cuomo’s decision to require nursing homes to accept COVID-19-positive patients – a move that resulted in the deaths of more than 16,000 nursing home patients – is now the subject of multiple investigations. Cuomo’s use of staff members to write his book and coverup the nursing-home debacle is also under investigation.
As The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra previously reported, federal prosecutors recently subpoenaed material related to Cuomo’s book in part of its probe into the state’s nursing home deaths and subsequent cover up.
“Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn asked for communications related to Mr. Cuomo’s October 2020 book, ‘American Crisis,’ including contracts and materials used to pitch the book to publishers, the people said,” The Wall Street Journal reported in early June. “They said the subpoenas indicated prosecutors are interested in nursing-home issues in the book, which more broadly recounted the governor’s response to the pandemic.”
“An impending Health Department report threatened to disclose a far higher number of nursing home deaths related to the coronavirus than the Cuomo administration had previously made public. Ms. [Melissa] DeRosa and other top aides expressed concern about the higher death toll, and, after their intervention, the number — which had appeared in the second sentence of the report — was removed from the final version,” the Times previously reported. “The revisions occurred as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff: a book deal that ended with a high offer of more than $4 million, according to people with knowledge of the book’s bidding process.”
A Times examination found that Cuomo’s book deal “overlapped with the move by his most senior aides to reshape a report about nursing home deaths in a way that insulated the governor from criticism and burnished his image.” It also overlapped with glowing coverage from the Times and other media outlets.
In addition to investigations into his handling of the pandemic, Cuomo is also being investigated after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.