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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday called the grieving New Yorkers upset over his $5.1 million book deal “stupid” for suggesting he profited from their relatives’ deaths with his pandemic memoir.
During a news conference in Buffalo, Cuomo was asked by a reporter to respond to the “allegations out there that you made money on the backs of dead people.”
“That’s stupid,” the governor snapped.
Cuomo later tried to walk back the insult, telling the reporter, “I thought your question was stupid and offensive.”
The details of Cuomo’s book deal — revealed in tax returns he released Monday — sparked a firestorm of outrage from New Yorkers whose loved ones died of COVID-19 in nursing homes after the Health Department ordered the facilities to accept infected patients discharged from hospitals.
Tracey Alvino, whose dad died after contracting the coronavirus in a Long Island nursing home, accused Cuomo of pocketing “blood money” through his lucrative contract for “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
“These resources could have been used to fight the pandemic instead of giving him a payday,” Alvino told The Post.
On Thursday, Vivian Zayas, founder of the advocacy group Voices for Seniors, called Cuomo “so defiant and arrogant,” and threw his snub back at him.
“It was stupid that he defied science by putting sick people in nursing homes with vulnerable elderly and immune-compromised residents,” she said.
“He made a stupid decision and won’t own up to it.”
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Syracuse) said the Democratic governor “continues to be completely dismissive and disrespectful to the individuals who paid the greatest price during the pandemic.”
“While people mourned the loss of loved ones, he lined his pockets with a $5.1 million book deal,” Barclay said.
“To categorize any criticism of that as ‘stupid’ illustrates his refusal to accept accountability of any kind.”
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