Cuomo set to earn $5M from book on COVID-19 crisis
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disclosed Monday that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years.
That total windfall of more than $5.1 million further inflamed critics who have said it was inappropriate for Cuomo to personally enrich himself with a self-congratulatory book, published just as the state was seeing a deadly resurgence in infections last October.
At least 52,987 people have died of COVID-19 in New York, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.
Cuomo, a Democrat, had for months declined to say how much money he made from writing “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. The book largely recounts the governor’s once-daily press conferences on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The disclosure of the big payday was made on the day Cuomo’s mandatory financial disclosures were due to a state ethics agency. Cuomo also let reporters view a copy of his tax returns, which were also due Monday.
Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi said Monday that after taxes and expenses, Cuomo had netted $1.5 million on the book last year. He said Cuomo donated $500,000 of his profits from the book to the United Way of New York State and is putting the rest into a trust for his three daughters. Azzopardi didn’t immediately provide a response Monday to a question about what the governor plans to do with the future $2 million in book payments.
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