Everyone makes mistakes, according to former Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., on Newsmax, but New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "cover-up" of them, while making a reported $5.1 million in a book deal off those mistakes is egregiously wrong to the point of "absolutely scandalous."
"It's the wrong thing to do to hold on to that money," King told Tuesday's "Cortes & Pellegrino," suggesting the money should be donated to COVID-19 nursing home victims or rescinded by the publisher. "In many ways it really is blood money.
"Listen, even if everything would have worked out right, writing a book in the middle of a pandemic is wrong. And when everything went wrong in his handling of the pandemic, it makes it look absolutely scandalous."
Cuomo was given a reported $3.1 million advance for his book "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," which included another $2 million due over the next two years.
"Early on, everyone could have made mistakes," he continued. "What I find here is not so much the initial mistakes but the cover up of it, the continuation of it, and then also making $5 million of that mistake."
King noted Cuomo was forced into resignation over the sexual misconduct allegations, but the nursing home mandate that required long-term care facilities in New York to take in COVID-19 infected residents – when it was widespread knowledge early on seniors were most at risk for serious complications and death – was "the far greater scandal," King added.
There still could be legal trouble for Cuomo with the Justice Department for the "obfuscation" of data to the federal government during the Trump administration regarding the nursing home deaths, King speculated, despite the DOJ having announced a dropping of a probe earlier this year.
"What they're looking at primarily – and I don't have first-hand knowledge – but what I've heard the Justice Department is looking into the false reporting, the distortions of records that was submitted by the Cuomo administration to the federal government."
Amid all this, and investigations into Cuomo securing private COVID-19 testing for his family, President Joe Biden coming out as saying Cuomo "done a hell of job," is tone deaf, King concluded.
"I thought the tone was totally wrong from [Biden on Tuesday]," King said. "Listen, I'm willing to admit that, in his first term, Gov. Cuomo did some good things. With each year it got progressively worse, and he's caved into the left wing of his party.
"And that's in addition, of course to nursing homes, the sexual assaults, family cronyism all of that, so I think Biden struck the wrong tone."
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