Former New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a denial he was working on writing a book during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic that featured him in daily press briefings as a perceived leader of the left.
A report detailed emails showing how Cuomo had his gubernatorial staffers working on a book between March and April 2020 — the height of the pandemic when more than 1,000 New Yorkers died with COVID-19.
“What is being alleged here is reckless and false,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told the Empire Center for Public Policy, a government watchdog, in a statement responding to the report. “The emails have nothing to do with work on the book, which began months later. The timeline was to inform the daily briefings, speeches, and other COVID-related materials. Of course a speechwriter would produce language in the governor’s voice.”
Cuomo has been criticized for capitalizing and taking $5.1 million for writing “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Cuomo was forced to resign as governor in August 2021 before his term ran out.
He is also accused of putting elderly lives at risk for issuing a directive for nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients — despite widely known risks of the elderly dying after contracting the disease.
The book was published in October, 2021, and the watchdog’s emails purportedly show his administration was enlisting staffers to help with the book.
The emails quote a staffer as “working to organize it a bit as something of a daily diary,” detailing Cuomo’s work at the start of the pandemic, although they do not mention the book.
Another, though, mentions a “preface” that was being worked on in Cuomo’s voice, according to the report.
“Any article that states that [secretary for Cuomo] Melissa DeRosa directed anyone to work on Gov. Cuomo’s book in March and/or April 2020 is false and reckless,” Gregory Morvillo, a lawyer for DeRosa, told the New York Post.
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