"I was shivering so much that I chipped my tooth — they call them the rigors," the CNN anchor said

By Aurelie Corinthios
April 02, 2020 09:51 AM
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During Wednesday night’s broadcast of his primetime show, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo went into graphic detail about his symptoms as he continues to battle the novel coronavirus.

Cuomo, 49, once again broadcasting live from his basement where he’s been quarantined away from his family since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, recounted his sleepless, feverish night on Tuesday.

“This virus came at me — I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said, dressed casually in a pullover and T-shirt. “Anybody who has ever seen me spar will tell you my first round is never my best, and this has proven no different with coronavirus. Now I know what I’m up against.”

“I’ve never had anything like it,” he continued. “I’ve never experienced any kind of fever like what I have going on all the time and the body aches and the tremor and the concern about not being able to do anything about it.”

Chris Cuomo/Twitter

Gesturing emphatically, Cuomo told viewers he was racked with a fever of up to 103 degrees that “wouldn’t quit.”

“It was like somebody was beating me with a piñata. I was shivering so much that … I chipped my tooth,” he said. “They call them the rigors.”

“So the sun comes up, I’m awake — I was up all night. I’m telling you, I was hallucinating. My dad was talking to me,” he continued, referring to his late father, former New York governor Mario Cuomo, who died in 2015. “I was seeing people from college, people I haven’t seen in forever. It was freaky, what I lived through, and it may happen again tonight.”

“You know, I get it now,” he admitted. “And if you match that with chest constriction and people can’t breathe, I totally get why we’re losing so many people and why our hospitals are so crowded.”

Cuomo urged viewers to take the pandemic seriously, expressing his outrage that some U.S. states are still not under stay-at-home orders.

“So here’s the message: Don’t be me. But more importantly, be better than we’re being right now,” he said. “Care enough, not just to stay home, but stay on our leaders to make sure that they’re doing everything 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?”

But there was a bright spot: Cuomo said his wife of 19 years and their three kids had tested negative for the virus.

“My biggest fear was passing this on to Christina and the kids,” he said. “Even though I feel way worse than I did yesterday in terms of symptoms, it’s been a great day — they’re negative. And that is the best thing that I could have ever heard.”

“Now, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be positive at some point in the future, that they can’t still be contaminated,” he added. “I’m down in the basement, we’re doing it super strict here. It’s not easy. It is necessary, and that’s enough.”

The U.S. now has the most cases of coronavirus in the world. As of Thursday morning, there are at least 214,461 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, according to a New York Times database, and at least 4,841 people have died from a coronavirus-related illness. The death toll has quadrupled over the last week.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.