Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax returns show that he pocketed $5.12 million for his memoir on the pandemic. Cuomo has been a controversial directive for nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients has been tied to as many as 1,000-plus deaths.
Cuomo’s “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published in mid-October as the pandemic still raged on in the state, came out as reports of the governor mishandling the elderly in nursing homes during the height of the virus.
The amount exceeds the $4 million-plus figure that was reportedly the top offer for Cuomo’s “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” which was published in mid-October as the public health crisis still raged in New York and elsewhere.
Cuomo’s contract — which he got despite his administration being accused of sending COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes, potentially spreading the deadly virus among the vulnerable elderly there — paid him $3.12 million last year and he was left with a little more than $3 million after legal and editing expenses, according to his tax returns.
The governor — a darling of the mainstream media throughout the pandemic, which praised Cuomo for his handling of the crisis — is under investigation for nursing home deaths and later his administration’s alleged efforts to cover up COVID-19 deaths among the elderly, which is now near 14,000.
On March 25, 2020, the Democratic governor enacted a statewide directive that forced nursing homes to take recovering COVID-19 patients, regardless of whether or not they remain contagious.
“No resident shall be denied readmission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19. NH’s are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 before admission or readmission,” Cuomo’s order stated.
Before the order was rescinded on May 10, thousands of infected patients were sent into nursing homes.
“More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press,” the AP wrote in May 2020.
The number was even higher according to a later account by the AP, which reported that “the state’s count [shows the order] ushered more than 6,300 recovering virus patients into nursing homes at the height of the pandemic.”
Cuomo later claimed that the staggering death toll in New York nursing homes was the fault of the federal government. “We followed federal guidance on the nursing homes,” Cuomo said in late June 2020 on NBC’s “Today Show.”
“We had more people die than any other state. That’s a fact,” Cuomo said. “The reason that happened was that we had the virus coming from Europe when the federal government told us the virus was coming from China. And we had no screening on people coming from Europe.”
Cuomo is under investigation for his handling of the nursing homes during the pandemic and efforts by his administration to cover up total COVID deaths among the elderly patients, which hover at nearly 14,000.
He’s also set to receive another $2 million this year and next, the returns show.
The book quickly became a best-seller last year after Cuomo’s televised pandemic briefings turned him into a media figure beloved by self-proclaimed “Cuomosexuals.”
But the sales tanked when he became embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal involving several former aides earlier this year.