CNN’s Chris Cuomo delivered a sobering account about what’s happened to him in the three days since he was diagnosed with COVID-19, including losing a dramatic amount of weight and hallucinating his dead father at the foot of his bed.
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo spoke out about the terrifying realities of being diagnosed with coronavirus, including unfathomable sweating, teeth chattering, and hallucinations. The Cuomo Prime Time host, 49, videoed into CNN from his basement, where he has been quarantined since March 30, to give an update on his condition. He didn’t hold back, telling Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the April 2 interview that with COVID-19, even those who don’t get hospitalized and are diagnosed with a “mild” form of the virus “suffer” greatly.
“I’m doing well. The beast comes at night. As we know the health care workers have taken to call the virus ‘the beast.’ I understand why,” Cuomo said. “My fever has gone up a couple of degrees in like the last 30 minutes. Nights are tough, and I’ve learned something that I didn’t know before: It is responsible journalism to say that 80% of people who get this, statistically, wind up okay, meaning they don’t get a hospital, they get through it. It is not humanly responsible, though, from an ethical perspective. Now that I am one of the anointed and these people reach out to me — you suffer when you have this at home, unless you are ridiculously lucky, statistically, and maybe karmically as well.”
He revealed that in just three days, he’s lost a staggering 13 pounds, and chipped his tooth from shivering so much. “I’m just sweating it out and it’s the sickness. In between the hits and in between when I’m doing the show, I’m a waste. I sleep probably 10 hours of the day if I can, in and out. I try to walk and do these breathing exercises because I’m petrified of getting pneumonia.” Even more frightening are what he describes as “phantasmagorical experiences.”
“I will get pain in my face now, headaches, profuse sweating,” Cuomo said. “Literally my vision in my left eye is a little blurry from pressure, from sinus pressure and some manifestation of the virus. I’ve talked to several experts and clinicians in this and they all said it’s a very common thing. And then you can’t sleep because you have a fever. And you have these wicked phantasmagorical experiences that are not dreams.” By that, Cuomo means that he hallucinated his father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, visiting him in quarantine. The elder Cuomo passed away in 2015.
“When I say I saw my father sitting on the end of the bed I would have gradually raised my hand and testify to it under oath. Why? Because of the fever,” he told a horrified Cooper and Gupta. Cuomo took a lighter tone while Skyping into his brother’s coronavirus press briefing earlier that day. The CNN anchor told Governor Andrew Cuomo that he had also hallucinated seeing him in his basement — wearing a tutu. “You came to me in a dream, you had on a very interesting ballet outfit and you were dancing in the dream and you were waving a wand and saying, ‘I wish I could wave my wand and make this go away,’ and then you spun away and you danced away.”