Generals typically don't write about wars until they're over, but it's a different story for Governor Cuomo.
He somehow found time to work on a book while running the state as the coronavirus raged across New York.
Due out on October 13 is Cuomo's book, which is titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Some political observers say the governor may be a little premature in writing his final chapter.
“He’s got a long way to go," said Christina Greer, a Fordam University professor. "We have not gone back to school. Parents have not sent their children back to school. I’m a college professor. We haven’t seen what college campuses in New York City are like. Or people using public transportation the way they did before March 13.”
Cuomo's book could have behind-the-scenes details as New York was the first state to go through a full-fledged crisis with COVID-19. At the height of the outbreak back in March and April, 800 people were dying every day and roughly 20,000 people were hospitalized statewide.
Those numbers have dropped substantially in the last several weeks, pointing to what may be a successful curtailing of the threat.
But it’s hard to guarantee that there won't be a deadly second wave without a vaccine.
“I am very confused about the timing," Greer said. "I am also confused about the tone. I do think Andrew Cuomo provides a certain amount of leadership and calm during an incredibly difficult period, but I don’t think at all, by any stretch of the imagination, that it’s book worthy right now. And I think some people would ask, is this the best use of your time?”
But others say what New York accomplished remains pretty remarkable. And there may be lessons other states can learn from the state's experience.
“It’s not premature to reflect on, as the subtitle suggests, leadership lessons from at least the earliest phases of this pandemic," David Birdsell of Baruch College said. "How do you recognize a threat when it emerges. How do you cope with the life and death issues of minimizing the downside of the pandemic?”
On Monday night, Cuomo delivered a prime-time address on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, calling the Trump administration incompetent in its handling of the coronavirus.
More than any other speaker, Cuomo seemed to get under President Donald Trump's skin. Following the speech, Trump mentioned his fellow Queens native multiple times in tweets, including one Tuesday morning where the President wrote:
“A horrible Governor. Crime is taking over NYC & State, everyone is leaving. He is after the NRA - They should move to Texas or elsewhere, and must get tough. Cuomo killed 11,000 people in nursing homes alone. Crooked & Incompetent!”
As governor, Cuomo also wrote a book in 2014. “All things Possible” recorded dismal sales of slightly more than 3,000 copies. This book will almost certainly sell more.
Cuomo was paid nearly $800,000 for his 2014 book. And he did very little in the way of promoting it. Cuomo also received an advance this time around, but his office would not provide a dollar amount. Cuomo will also record an audio version of the book.