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Cuomo set to receive $5.1 million for COVID-19 book

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to earn $5.1 million from his memoir about leading New York through the COVID-19 pandemic, according to information provided by his office on Monday. Cuomo received $3,120,000 in gross income from the book in 2020 and is set to be paid an additional $2 million over the next two years. 

Cuomo’s book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was announced in August 2020 after he became a national figure for his blunt COVID-19 briefings early in the COVID-19 crisis when New York was the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.

According to Cuomo’s office, the governor received $1,537,508 after taxes from the book in 2020. About one-third of that was donated to the United Way, while the rest is going to his daughters. 

“The Governor donated a third to the United Way of New York State for state-wide COVID relief and vaccination effort, and is giving the remainder in a trust for his three daughters equally who worked with the Governor during this pandemic and did what he calls ‘tireless and effective work for all New Yorkers’ and gave him ‘the strength and love to make it through the crisis every day,'” Cuomo’s communications director and senior adviser Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.

2021 has been a far different year for Cuomo. New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a report that found the Cuomo administration may have “undercounted” nursing home deaths “by as much as 50%” and multiple women have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, which he has repeatedly denied. There are ongoing investigations into the nursing home cases and sexual harassment allegations

In April, the New York state comptroller wrote a letter to James asking her to look into whether state resources were used to help with Cuomo’s book after “allegations recently emerged that public resources may have been used in the development and promotion” of the book. A spokesperson for James’ office confirmed her office received the referral letter, but wouldn’t comment further citing an “ongoing investigation.” Azzopardi at the time suggested it was a political stunt. 

“We have officially jumped the shark,” Azzopardi said in a statement at the time. “The idea there was criminality involved here is patently absurd on its face and is just the furthering of a political pile-on. Any state official who volunteered to assist on this project did so on his or her own time and without the use of state resources.”

Cuomo also told reporters in April that any state employees who worked on the book did so voluntarily. 

“Some people volunteered to review the book,” Cuomo said. “Some people were mentioned in the book, I wanted to make sure they were okay with the mention. I wanted to make sure that it represented what they did and the facts correctly.”

Crown Publishing has not responded to CBS News’ request for comment about the book deal and whether the company will pay out the remainder of the money.



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