Amy Klobuchar Opens Up About Husband's Coronavirus Hospitalization

The Minnesota senator and former 2020 presidential candidate described her family's experience as “one of the hardest, hardest things.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is opening up about her husband’s coronavirus battle and recovery, calling his uncertain five-day hospitalization “one of the hardest, hardest things.”

“He ended up taking a turn for the better,” Klobuchar, who ended her Democratic presidential campaign last month, told NBC News on Tuesday. “So many end up taking a turn for the worst and you can’t be there. You can’t hold their hand, you can’t give a hug to the health worker.”

Her husband, 52-year-old John Bessler, was teaching at the University of Baltimore when he said he suddenly fell ill on March 12.

“I taught three classes the day before and felt great, and it just suddenly hit me and I had a fever, and that fever just lasted for days and days,” Bessler told NBC News.

Klobuchar was in Washington working on the coronavirus economic stimulus package, so the couple stayed in different locations as Bessler self-quarantined himself. But as time went on, Bessler’s condition worsened.

He had a fever and shortness of breath. He drove himself to the hospital after he coughed up blood, they said.

Bessler was diagnosed with pneumonia ― one of the more serious complications of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus ― and was put on oxygen. Klobuchar said they communicated electronically, which was difficult.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stands with her husband, John Bessler, and daughter Abigail Klobuchar Bessler, left, in February
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stands with her husband, John Bessler, and daughter Abigail Klobuchar Bessler, left, in February.

“I would, as much as I love being on your show, I would rather be there with him right now, and I can’t do that,” the senator told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in late March.

The couple, now speaking from their home in Minnesota, urged others to follow social distancing advisories to help prevent the virus from spreading. 

“People really do need to pay attention to this, and it can happen to anybody,” Bessler said.

Klobuchar said more needs to be done, as a nation, “to make up for mistakes that were made in the beginning where our country was not prepared for this.”

Improvements in testing for COVID-19 would be one step in the right direction, she said. 

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