Cuomo dismisses question about signing $5M book deal while New Yorkers died: ‘That’s stupid’
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo angrily rejected a reporter’s question Thursday about whether his $5 million book deal, which he arranged as COVID-19 raged through the city last year, was offensive to families who lost loved ones during the pandemic, calling the inquiry “stupid.”
Cuomo has been under fire for months as he attempts to navigate the tumultuous, scandal-plagued waters of his administration as more pile up against him, such as his infamous multimillion-dollar book deal and multiple sexual harassment allegations.
A reporter posed a question regarding the book deal to the governor – who is expected to make over $5 million from his memoir – during a Thursday press conference in Buffalo, asking Cuomo to respond to critics who have said the Democratic governor is making money off of dead New Yorkers.
Cuomo refused the question entirely, instead calling the query “stupid” and asking for the next question.
Cuomo was later pressed on criticism of his memoir and how it might be offensive to people whose loved ones have perished due to COVID-19 as a result of his nursing home mandate.
The New York governor doubled down.
“I thought your question was stupid and offensive,” he responded to the reporter.
When asked about the probe into his administration by the Department of Justice, Cuomo said America is in “toxic political times” and his administration didn’t do “anything in New York State that wasn’t done by anyone else.”
“If you’re going to sit with a governor, they wanted to test you before you were exposed to the governor,” Cuomo said. “I was running COVID response for this state, so I didn’t want to get COVID, and precautions were taken.”
Cuomo said that “yes, people died” due to COVID-19 and attempted to blame former President Trump for using the pandemic ravaging New York, whom the governor said attempted to “blame” him by using “emotion” politically.
Fox News’ Janice Dean fired back on Twitter, quoting Cuomo and saying that people dying should have been the “end” of the sentence.
New York state Assemblyman Ron Kim called out the governor for going after the reporter.
“Governor, you know what’s ‘stupid and offensive?’” Kim said in an Instagram video on Thursday. “It is you directing people in the state government to write a book in the middle of COVID, chasing down a $5 million book deal in the middle of a pandemic where people are dying left and right.”
“That’s stupid and offensive,” Kim said, adding it was also “stupid and offensive” for the governor to cover up the state’s COVID-19 death numbers and for him “profiting off of people who died and nursing home deaths.”
The Empire State governor wrote a memoir last year in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic outlining his leadership through the crisis – leadership that is now seeing multiple investigations into how he handled the nursing home deaths from coronavirus in the state and the aforementioned book deal.
Not only was it reported that Cuomo forced his staff to work on the book for him, his tax returns revealed that the governor is expecting to make $5.12 million off his memoir through 2022 despite the controversy around it. Naturally, this sparked outrage on Twitter.
Cuomo already made a net income of $1.5 million in 2020, according to his tax returns.