Politics Cuomo book deal negotiation overlapped with hiding nursing home death toll: report
'Keeping Up With the Cuomos' becomes a full-blown scandal for once-beloved tandem
All networks have their controversies big and small. Most can eventually shake them off and move on. But the Cuomo brothers show is decidedly different. You can point the finger at the governor and at the anchor.But most of all, you can point the finger at the network that somehow allowed it all to happen.Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was reportedly in negotiations for a book deal when top aides were working to alter publicly released information on the number of coronavirus deaths at nursing homes in the state.
reported Wednesday that the negotiations, which resulted in a $4 million deal for a book on the Cuomo administration's response to the pandemic, occurred at the same time aides worked to make edits on an impending Health Department report.
The newspaper, citing sources with knowledge of the book bidding process and an examination of the timeline of talks, reported an overlap between the negotiations for Cuomo's book and efforts to intervene in the Health Department report.
Liberal watchdog group files ethics complaint against Andrew Cuomo over book promotion
Scandal-prone Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing an ethics complaint from a liberal watchdog group alleging the Democrat used his campaign organization to promote his book about his response to the coronavirus pandemic. © Provided by Washington Examiner Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted the grievance on April 1 to the New York State Board of Elections, seeking an investigation into whether Cuomo violated a law that prohibits "the use of campaign funds for personal use.
Melissa DeRosa, one of Cuomo's top aides involved in the effort to withhold the true coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, also helped Cuomo with his book's development by attending meetings with publishers and editing drafts of the book, according to the Times.
Top Cuomo aide Stephanie Benton also reportedly twice asked assistants to print portions of book drafts and deliver them to Cuomo at the Executive Mansion in late June and early July.
The Times noted that one of Benton's directives came the same day in June when DeRosa organized a meeting with several top advisers to discuss the draft Health Department report on coronavirus deaths. DeRosa laterand apologized to New York Democratic lawmakers for withholding nursing home data.
10th Cuomo accuser comes forward, says she was 'shocked' and 'embarrassed' when NY governor 'grabbed' her face and kissed her without consent
Cuomo is facing an impeachment inquiry and investigations by the FBI and the New York attorney general.Vill, 55, a New York resident, is the 10th woman to accuse Cuomo of misconduct. Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, said at a news conference that Cuomo grabbed Vill's face in 2017 and kissed her without consent at her home.
Emails and an early draft of Cuomo's book obtained by the Times indicated that the governor began working on the book as early as mid-June and relied on help from aides and staffers for editing and other work tied to the pandemic memoir.
Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to the governor, told the Times on Wednesday that there was no link between Cuomo's book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," and the coronavirus report.
"There is no connection between the report and this outside project, period," Azzopardi told the news outlet. "And any suggestion otherwise is just wrong."
The Hill has reached out to Cuomo's office for comment.
Cuomo was hailed early on in the pandemic for his daily news briefings and straightforward updates on the health crisis. His book, released in October, included a retelling of the pandemic in one of the states hardest hit by the virus.
Andrew Cuomo apologizes, says he didn't know he was making women uncomfortable and rejects calls to resign
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo emerged on Wednesday after more than a week away from the cameras to apologize for his behavior after two women accused him of sexual harassment and another alleged an unwanted advance, saying he didn't know he was "making anyone feel uncomfortable."But the Democrat flatly rejected calls for his resignation and pleaded with New Yorkers to wait for the state attorney general to issue a report on the matter before forming an opinion on his alleged transgressions. The pending inquiry, though, could take months to complete and Cuomo seized the news conference spotlight in an effort to push back against calls for him to immediately step down.
The governor has since faced mounting scrutiny over his administration's withholding of data on nursing home deaths as well as calls to resign over allegations of sexual harassment from multiple former aides and others.
The New York State Attorney General's officereleased in January that the state undercounted nursing home deaths by as much as 50 percent, and Cuomo faces an impeachment inquiry by New York state lawmakers over the issue.
Cuomo's office faced additional scrutiny on the death toll in nursing homes afterthat Cuomo's top advisers not only intentionally withheld information, but pushed state health officials to alter the July Health Department report.
Lindsey Boylan Reacts to Light Display on Tower That Read 'NY Touch' Instead of 'NY Tough' .
"New York, don't let this become our brand," the former Cuomo aide tweeted Saturday, along with an image of the display that appeared to be a jab against the governor."New York, don't let this become our brand," Boylan tweeted Saturday, along with an image of the display that appeared to be a jab against Cuomo.