Nearly 2,000 New Yorkers have died from coronavirus since Cuomo's book announced

Critics point to the nursing home crisis that led to a devastating outbreak among senior citizens

Nearly 2,000 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a book on his handling of the pandemic earlier this year.

It’s called “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

A Washington Post review described it as “the riveting story of how [Cuomo] took charge in the fight against COVID-19 as New York became the epicenter of the pandemic.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo removes a mask as he holds a news conference in Tarrytown, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

There were 32,604 confirmed or probable coronavirus deaths in the Empire State at the time of the book announcement on Aug.18. New York was one of the hardest hit states at the time, although new infections and daily death tolls had declined to just a fraction of what they were during the outbreak’s apparent peak in April.

JANICE DEAN: CORONAVIRUS COST MY IN-LAWS THEIR LIVES. GOV. CUOMO, OUR VULNERABLE LOVED ONES DESERVED BETTER

Still, another 1,818 New Yorkers succumbed to the illness between the book announcement and Dec. 2, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cuomo’s office reported another 61 COVID-related fatalities Thursday.

Back in October, NPR’s “All Things Considered” asked the governor why he would write a book about handling the pandemic when it was still underway and there was a looming threat of a second wave.

“We went through the first half -- we were ambushed by the virus,” he replied. “It wreaked havoc… look back at the first half of the game. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? And then let's adjust for the re-entry onto the field, because this is not going away.”

Cuomo has received mixed reviews for his handling of the crisis. On the one hand, his daily televised news conferences earned him an Emmy for providing useful, detailed data on the issues confronting his state – including the virus and the economy. On the other, critics are furious about a New York nursing home crisis, a devastating outbreak among senior citizens living in facilities that were forced to accept COVID-19 patients released from hospitals.

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Cuomo has defended the nursing home policy as in line with guidance from the Trump administration at the time.

Daily death totals have dropped significantly from peaks when hundreds of people were dying a day in April, but cases are once again on the rise, and the governor’s office has issued new restrictions that further squeeze a struggling economy.

Fox News' Peter Hasson contributed to this report.