New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s publisher has said it stopped promoting his recent book on leadership during the coronavirus pandemic the title because of an inquiry into efforts by the governor’s office to withhold data on nursing home resident deaths.
The New York Times was the first to report the news, after Gillian Blake of Crown Publishing Group told the Times in an email that there were “no plans” to reprint Cuomo’s book or to reissue it in paperback, citing “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of Covid-related fatalities in nursing homes.”
“American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic,” published by a division of Penguin Random House that had hit shelves in October last year, but sales of the book have sugffered amid a slew of damaging allegations, including that the governor manipulated nursing home data. Meanwhile, a series of former aides and young women have come forward alleging inappropriate conduct and workplace sexual harassment.
“Pending the ongoing investigation,” Blake said in response to an email from the Times, “we have paused active support of ‘American Crisis’ and have no plans to reprint or reissue in paperback.”
The Times had reported last week new evidence that indicated Cuomo and his top aides had worked to conceal the actual number of nursing home resident by rewriting a Health Department report to remove a higher figure reflecting nursing home deaths across the state.
The governor’s office has said that the nursing home numbers hadn’t yet been finalized at the time and that the total number of fatalities in the state was consistent.
Four days after the report’s publication, Cuomo said publicly that he was thinking about writing a book. According to the Times, he had already begun to seek permission from a state oversight agency to earn outside income from book sales. A month later the book was formally announced.
With Cuomo’s book in the works, his aides for months prevented the Health Department from revising the death toll to be considerably higher.
The Cuomo administration finally released the data in February, after a report by the state attorney general, Letitia James, suggested widespread undercounting. The long-awaited true figures came months after Cuomo’s book had been published and he had been lauded as a leader in the national fight against coronavirus.
Cuomo at the time said the book was not premature, arguing it was “halftime” in the pandemic and noting that the manuscript offered a “blueprint for going forward.”
But according to the Times, sales dipped as coronavirus infections soared anew in the state in the months that followed. Those sales have continued to worsen as the governor’s image is further tainted amid a swirl of emerging scandals.