ALBANY – The state’s response efforts to the Covid-19 pandemic have been all consuming of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s time the past five months.
But he still managed to find the hours to write a book – and narrate its audio version – that will detail how he believes he handled the Covid-19 crisis and the importance of government leadership in such challenging times.
Financial terms of the deal for the book, "American Crisis," were not released Tuesday by the Cuomo administration or Crown, the Random House Publishing Group imprint that is publishing the book.
The book project was slammed by Cuomo critics across social media platforms Tuesday; they wondered how Cuomo, in a state that leads the nation in Covid deaths, can write a book about his handling of a pandemic that is still playing out.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican who was defeated by Cuomo in the 2018 elections, said Cuomo should have had "the dignity and respect" to wait until the pandemic ends before writing a book "telling us what a great job he did."
The release is scheduled for Oct. 13, a few weeks before the presidential election. The announcement of the book deal came the morning after Cuomo gave a brief video address on the opening night of the virtual Democratic National Convention.
Cuomo wrote a memoir, "All Things Possible," in 2014; that was a $783,000 deal for the Democratic governor. The book had lackluster sales. Cuomo has since made a national name for himself through his daily news briefings that, for a time, were covered from start to finish by national television networks.
Crown, his new publisher, said the Cuomo book will provide a “revealing, behind-the-scenes account of his experience leading New York State through the Covid-19 epidemic.” They said it will be “an important chronicle of this unprecedented moment in history” and offer “an urgent assessment of the factors that have and continue to impede our national response” to Covid-19.
The publisher’s release this morning made no mention of some of the controversies Cuomo has faced during the pandemic, including a still unknown number of nursing home residents who died from Covid-19, his March order that hospitals release Covid-19-positive patients to nursing homes and complaints from health care workers of state-regulated hospitals and other health settings being woefully unprepared with such things as supplies of masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment.
“If you don’t feel fear, you don’t appreciate the consequences of the circumstance. The questions are what do you do with the fear and would you succumb to it. I would not allow the fear to control me. The fear kept my adrenaline high and that was a positive. But I would not let the fear be a negative, and I would not spread it. Fear is a virus also," Cuomo writes in an excerpt.