Titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the book purportedly offers “intimate and inspiring thoughts of a leader at an unprecedented historical moment,” according to its Amazon description. The website adds that “American Crisis is a remarkable portrait of selfless leadership and a gritty story of difficult choices that points the way to a safer future for all of us.”
Cuomo’s book was released on Oct. 13 by Crown Publishing and, unlike his previous book, “All Things Possible,” became a best-seller. It’s unclear how much Cuomo received for “American Crisis,” but a financial disclosure showed him receiving $783,000 for “All Things Possible.”
The governor has declined to disclose the amount paid for his coronavirus-related book, reportedly saying he would reveal the sum in his financial disclosures, which are due in the spring of 2021. According to the news site lohud.com, Cuomo has pledged to donate an unspecified amount of the proceeds to a COVID-related entity.
Neither Cuomo’s office nor his publisher responded to Fox News’ multiple requests for comment.
The book’s success, however, raises additional questions about how public officials might benefit or encounter different circumstances during a crisis like the pandemic.
As the nation headed towards more potential shutdowns for the winter, another Democratic state chief executive, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, was caught at a dinner party that seemed to flout his own social distancing guidelines. A Sacramento Bee editorial slammed the party, which took place at an upscale French restaurant and was in honor of a lobbyist. “Nothing will launder the stain of stupidity from his reputation after this ill-conceived outing,” the Bee said.
Last week, the Albany Times-Union newspaper reported on a debate within New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) that appeared to arise out of concerns surrounding Cuomo’s book. State Republican Sen. Gary Lavine, who serves on JCOPE, “instigated” a discussion on how much sway the commission, which approved Cuomo’s book as a source of outside income, had.
The Times-Union reported: “JCOPE commissioner Gary Lavine, who instigated the discussion, refused to say whether his interest in the topic was prompted by the book deal. ‘I will not confirm or deny any confidential request for an ethics opinion,’ Lavine said.”
Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.