Federal prosecutors are once again broadening their investigation into New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home scandal by asking for documents and communications related to the Democrat’s book, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the correspondence, contracts, and other information surrounding the makings of Cuomo’s October 2020 book deal from editors and state officials. The documents and communications in “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” officials say, could give them a greater perspective on how Cuomo’s administration manipulated data to cover up the death toll scandal.
Federal officials first focused their efforts on investigating how Cuomo, his administration, and the state’s Health Department severely undercounted the number of COVID-related deaths in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic following the Democrat’s March 25, 2020 order, which said elderly patients infected with the virus but discharged from hospitals should return to their care facilities. While the state initially reported just shy of 6,500 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, the number omitted patients infected in nursing homes who later died in hospitals. Some estimate the deaths to be closer to 9,000, a number hidden from the public last summer.
Officials later expanded their review to encompass the beneficiaries of the governor’s continued campaign to hand out special COVID-19 testing privileges to specific people. Among those who benefitted from Cuomo’s favoritism was the infamous CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who repeatedly ran interference for his brother in the early months of the pandemic by joking around on live television and refusing to ask the governor questions about the rising nursing home death toll that resulted from his deadly policy.
Cuomo’s publisher began walking back promotion of the book in March after multiple inquiries into his scandals, including allegations of sexual harassment, surfaced. Gillian Blake of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House which published the book, reportedly told the New York Times the company had “no plans” to reprint Cuomo’s pandemic manifesto or reissue it in paperback over “the ongoing investigation into N.Y.S. reporting of COVID-related fatalities in nursing homes.”
Shortly after that in April, the New York attorney general’s office launched an investigation into whether Cuomo used government resources, including people in his administration, to write his book, which is expected to earn him approximately $5.12 million. Cuomo’s office claimed that those who assisted with the creation of the literature did so on a volunteer basis.