Fox News' Neil Cavuto Was in the ICU with COVID Due to His 'Very Compromised Immune System'

"Had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn't be here," the host of Your World said

neil cavuto
Neil Cavuto. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty

Fox News' Neil Cavuto is thanking the COVID-19 vaccine for keeping him alive after a second bout with the virus put him in the intensive care unit.

The host of Your World with Neil Cavuto, 63, was back on air for the first time in weeks on Monday after finally recovering from COVID-19. Cavuto is fully vaccinated and previously tested positive for the virus in October, but has a "very compromised immune system" because he has multiple sclerosis, underwent triple bypass heart surgery in 2016 and is in remission from stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I did get COVID again — but a far more serious strand, what doctors call COVID pneumonia. It landed me in intensive care for quite a while and it really was touch-and-go," he told viewers. "Some of you who've wanted to put me out of my misery darn near got what you wished for! So, sorry to disappoint you!"

Cavuto explained that the vaccine did not make him sick, and that it's his immune system that's at fault.

"No, the vaccine didn't cause this … my very compromised immune system did," he said. "Because I've had cancer and now have multiple sclerosis, I'm among the vulnerable 3% of the population or so that simply cannot sustain the full benefits of a vaccine. In other words, it doesn't last."

The longtime Fox News anchor emphasized that without the vaccines, he likely would not have survived.

"Let me be clear, doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn't be here," he said. "It provided some defense, but that is still better than no defense. Maybe not great comfort for some of you. I've got to be honest, frankly, it was not great comfort for me either! This was scary."

And Cavuto, who previously said he got death threats when he pleaded with viewers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, said he's "not here to debate vaccinations for you. Just offer an explanation for me. I figured I owed you that."

Cavuto had spent most of 2020 broadcasting his show from home due to his high risk of severe illness if he were to get COVID-19. He made his return to Fox News headquarters for the presidential election night that November, telling PEOPLE that the day was "too important to do otherwise."

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But he and the rest of the staff took intense precautions, including testing, temperature checks and social distancing to get him through the day.

"I'm a little extra cautious about this than maybe a lot of people because I'm at target for all the stuff that could possibly make you vulnerable to COVID-19," he told PEOPLE. "You just don't know. I don't get a cavalier or arrogant attitude with this."

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