Governor Cuomo’s New Book About Managing COVID-19 Pandemic Hits Stores

Governor Cuomo’s New Book About Managing COVID-19 Pandemic Hits Stores

By Zack Fink, NY1

American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic, covers the period from late February to mid-June when Governor Cuomo found himself at the center of the outbreak.

New York was hit first and harder than any other state. And Cuomo’s nationally-televised daily press briefings became almost required viewing for those on lockdown. 


What You Need To Know

  • Cuomo details his management of COVID crisis which hit New York hardest in the early days of the pandemic
  • The governor describes dealing with the Trump administration by walking a fine line, offering both praise and criticism of Trump
  • The book covers the height of the New York outbreak from March to June

Cuomo was on CBS Sunday morning with his daughters to promote the book. 

“Oh, there is no victory here. The game isn’t over. This is halftime in the game. Let’s learn the lesson from the first half of the game. And play a better second half. But we have to play a whole other half of this game,” Cuomo said.

American Crisis is full of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and rare self-reflection for Cuomo. He writes about his reputation for micromanaging during a crisis.

“I am a controlling personality…but you show me a person who is not controlling, and I’ll show you a person who is probably not highly successful,” Cuomo writes.

He also discusses being thrust into the national spotlight to calm nerves and provide fact-based analysis, when critics of the president believed there was a leadership void in Washington.

“Donald Trump did not have the only microphone. I had one too. And I had something else: credibility,” Cuomo writes.

The book also details how Cuomo dealt with another political player, his sometimes-nemesis Mayor de Blasio. Cuomo writes about a joint press conference they held in early March when New York reported its first COVID case. 

“While I was not the mayor’s number one fan, a fact that was well known to the public, I made the trip to the city specifically to sit with him to show a unified front,” Cuomo writes.

Critics say mixed messaging between the mayor and governor sometimes hampered the response. And Cuomo is dogged by critics who say it’s too early for him to be taking a bow with this book.

“It’s unusual and it’s a little presumptuous,” said Alexis Grennell, a political strategist. “I think most people would say, ‘You know, Churchill didn’t write the story of World War II in 1944.’”

At other times, the book can be humorous—like when Cuomo’s three daughters join him at the executive mansion for the duration of the crisis, and he lets one of their boyfriends come along. 

 

“I begrudgingly agreed that the boyfriend could come. The Executive Mansion has twelve bedrooms, and he got the one on the top floor with the twin beds everyone says is haunted,” Cuomo writes.

Another illuminating chapter about dealing with the Trump White House includes Cuomo’s claim that the President’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, attempted to extort him into revealing the results of an experimental drug, and threatening to withhold federal aid if those results were not provided.

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