New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) gave a heartfelt update Wednesday on the health status of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, his younger brother who has tested positive for the coronavirus, and stressed that his sibling’s condition underscores the pandemic’s reach.
Speaking at the daily briefings he began when New York became a hotspot for the outbreak, the governor said his brother is doing “fine enough,” but is experiencing fever, chills and “symptoms of basically a very bad flu.”
The case, he said, illustrates that “anyone can get this disease. There is no superhero who is immune from this disease. ... No one can be protected from it. I couldn’t protect my own brother. With all he knows and as smart as he is, he couldn’t protect himself.”
Andrew Cuomo said that though statistics indicate that his brother, who is self-quarantined, will recover, “When he told me he had the coronavirus, it scared me. It frightened me. Why? Because we still don’t know” how the virus will play out.
“We’re talking about my little brother,” he said. “This is my best friend. I talk to him several times a day, I basically spent my whole life with him. And it is frightening on a fundamental level.”
The situation is the same for families all around the country, the governor said, adding that he appreciates people are just as worried about their own loved ones during the pandemic.
He praised his sibling for his “gutsy, courageous” decision to carry on his work as a journalist from home, saying Chris Cuomo believes doing so will be instructive to those around the country seeking information about what it’s like to get the virus.
“That’s why he did (his) show last night: ‘OK, I have coronavirus but here I am, I’m doing my show. I didn’t fall over, I didn’t collapse, it’s not a death sentence.’ Kudos to him. My pop would be proud. I love you, little brother,” the governor said.
Andrew, 62, and Chris, 49, are two of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s five children. The elder Cuomo, a Democrat, died in 2015
Chris Cuomo revealed his diagnosis via a Tuesday note on Twitter. His symptoms came days after he was exposed to others who later discovered they had the virus, he said.
CNN confirmed he would continue to anchor his show “Cuomo Prime Time” from home, as he had done Monday night. The network said he was last at its Hudson Yards offices on Friday.
As the pandemic’s toll on New York increasingly put Andrew Cuomo in the spotlight, he and Chris took to occasionally exchanging brotherly barbs during the latter’s programs. Just Monday night, the governor mocked the news anchor for broadcasting from his basement, where he is now quarantined.
Of more than 213,370 confirmed cases nationwide, at least 47,439 have been reported in New York City alone, where 1,139 deaths from the virus have been recorded, per data from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University. According to The New York Times, as of Wednesday 83,712 cases had been confirmed statewide, with 1,941 deaths.
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