CNN anchor Chris Cuomo ended his broadcast Wednesday night by going into graphic detail about the horror he experienced as the coronavirus took hold of him, explaining that his fever got so bad at one point that he chipped a tooth because he was shivering so violently.
For the second straight night since revealing he had been diagnosed with COVID-19, Cuomo hosted his primetime CNN show from the basement of his house. During his Tuesday evening program, Cuomo noted that while he felt well enough to do the show, viewers needed to know that “you don’t want this.”
Throughout Wednesday night’s broadcast, he spelled out just why they wouldn’t want to catch it.
CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who had talked to Cuomo on Tuesday about his condition, was Wednesday’s first guest and immediately pointed out that Cuomo appeared to be better.
“First of all, I’m happy to see you,” Gupta said. “We spoke last night after the show. You had these rigors, I’m just going to say it, so bad that I think you chipped a tooth.”
“This was significant for you, Chris,” he continued. “And I’m just going to say, as well, you know, we talk about abdication of duty. I don’t want to abdicate my duty. I know you are a warrior, but you’re allowed to take a day off.”
Cuomo went on to acknowledge that he saw a “different side of the virus” late Tuesday night.
“This virus came at me—I’ve never seen anything like it, OK?” he explained. “So I’ve had a fever, you’ve had a fever, right? But 102, 103, 103-plus, that wouldn’t quit. It was like somebody was beating me like a pinata.”
“I was shivering so much, that Sanjay’s right, I chipped my tooth,” Cuomo added. “These are not cheap, OK? They call them the rigors, like rigors, r-i-g-o-r-s. But rigors. So the sun comes up. I was up all night. I tell you, I was hallucinating. My dad was talking to me.” (Cuomo’s father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, died in January 2015.)
Cuomo would go on to say it was possible that he’d experience the same thing multiple times over the coming nights along with tightness in his chest, adding that he understands now why the hospitals are so crowded and people are dying.
“So here's the message, don't be me, but more importantly, be better than we're being right now,” the CNN host concluded. “Care enough not just to stay home, but to stay on our leaders, to make sure that they're doing everything that they can to limit this. I'm telling you this is the part of our lives we will live through and remember the most. How do you want to be remembered during this time?”