Let's begin with a correction: We have repeatedly referred to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's notorious book deal as worth approximately $4 million, based on reports. That was inaccurate. The real number, according to Cuomo's office, was $5.12 million, seven figures higher than previously known. As the pandemic raged, hammering his state with one of the worst death rates in the world, Cuomo seized upon his moment in spotlight to write a book celebrating his leadership during the crisis. His senior aides actively covered up nursing home death statistics, rewriting documents and withholding data, while simultaneously working (reportedly on taxpayer dime) to get his book project acquired by a publisher for the largest possible sum. The whole premise of the book was Cuomo's uniquely amazing handling of the pandemic, so it very much appears as though he had a powerful financial incentive, in addition to his strong political incentive, to make anti-narrative information go away.
Anti-narrative information like...thousands of senior citizens dying as a result of a disastrous miscalculation and lethal mandate implemented by the governor. It now appears as though the resulting shameless cover-up paid off handsomely. And literally:
More info on Cuomo’s $5 million book deal here: https://t.co/uCqBFu1wiF— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) May 17, 2021
Some observers are noting that $5 million is an absolutely astronomical figure for a politician – certainly a non-president – to fetch. One might imagine that publishers may have seen Cuomo's high profile during much of the pandemic, and the degree to which he was celebrated lavishly by the media and fellow Democrats (remember the primetime DNC speech, even after the scandal started to unravel?), and decided that the gamble was worth it. He was the Resistance's alternative president to Trump, and he'd therefore be bankable, they must have wagered. A leader handling a well-known crisis? Huge media platform? Self-created mythology feeding constant adulation? Check, check, check. So the deal was inked, with Cuomo's team using its political authority to block information damaging to the story, and therefore harmful to the richness of the deal, from coming out. It all reeks of corruption. Very lucrative corruption, at that. Allahpundit runs the math in an utterly savage piece you should read start to finish:
It’s $97.30 per death, to be precise. A total of 52,417 New Yorkers have died from COVID while Cuomo has already raked in $3.1 million for his book and stands to earn another $2 million under his deal...His state is second nationally in deaths per capita, behind only its neighbor New Jersey. This is like paying the mayor in “Jaws” $5 million for a book on how to fight sharks. If, that is, the mayor in “Jaws” was also juggling like five other scandals besides his terrible shark-fighting performance, including covering up the number of senior citizens eaten by sharks and recruiting his government staff to work on the book about shark-fighting. Oh, and all the while seemingly sexually harassing half the women around him...Assuming they pay him the full $5 million, and assuming further that sales don’t inexplicably take off now that his reputation’s ruined, Cuomo’s going to end up earning a little north of … $100 per copy.
It's brutal because it's true. Janice Dean, who lost both of her in-laws to COVID in New York nursing homes, is appalled and undoubtedly channels many other grieving families in her latest op/ed reacting to the governor's book sum:
$5 million. Was it worth it, Governor? When I first learned he was writing it, I thought it was a joke... We now know his health department allowed more than 9,000 COVID-positive patients back into those facilities and we lost over 15,000 seniors despite his administration’s lengths to cover up the true death toll. Cuomo knew the body count would hurt his efforts to sell his memoir, so he and his henchmen lied, bullied and threatened others to keep it quiet. It also looks like Cuomo used state resources and employees to help him write the book. Hundreds of those pages were based on lies. My only hope is that this book that profited off the deaths of our loved ones is used in a court of law against him.
Dean says the genre of Cuomo's manipulated "memoir" should be true crime. I'll leave you with this, in case you missed it:
When pressed further, Cuomo said: "Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable. That is not harassment. If I just made you feel uncomfortable, that is not harassment, that is you feeling uncomfortable.” https://t.co/hLPnBQKQdr— The Hill (@thehill) May 14, 2021