CNN host reveals multiple sclerosis diagnosis on air as he thanks staff for getting vaccinated

‘I’m going to share a secret I have never spoken before. I am immunocompromised,’ John King says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 19 October 2021 20:02

CNN anchor John King revealed that he has multiple sclerosis during a segment on vaccine mandates on Tuesday

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CNN anchor John King revealed that he has multiple sclerosis live on air as he thanked his staff for getting vaccinated against Covid-19 during a discussion about vaccine mandates on Inside Politics.

“I’m going to share a secret I have never spoken before. I am immunocompromised,” Mr King said on Tuesday.

“I have multiple sclerosis. So I am grateful you are all vaccinated. I am grateful my employer says all of these amazing people who work on the floor, who came in here in the last 18 months when we are doing this, are vaccinated now that we have vaccines.

“I worry about bringing it home to my 10-year-old son who can’t get a vaccine. I don’t like the government telling me what to do. I don’t like my boss telling me what to do. In this case, it’s important.”

The discussion was partly prompted by the death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died following complications stemming from Covid-19 but who also had a rare form of blood cancer and that weakens the body’s ability to treat infections. While General Powell, 84, had been fully vaccinated, his multiple myeloma diagnosis worsened his ability to fight the virus.

Some right-wing media outlets suggested that Gen Powell’s death indicated that the vaccines don’t work as advertised.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed that the death of Gen Powell proved that the American public had been “lied to” about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

At the end of his programme, Mr Carlson said he had “left out that Colin Powell was suffering from a number of different health problems” when he had said that the general had died from Covid-19 complications despite being fully vaccinated.

During Mr King’s segment on Tuesday, the CNN chyron said: “Right-wing media use Colin Powell’s death to question vaccines when unvaccinated face 11X higher risk of dying from Covid.”

The CDC has said that “some people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will still get sick because no vaccine is 100 per cent effective” but the study published by the agency cited by CNN shows that among adults, the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die of the virus.

“The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing last month. “Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of Covid-19.”

The executive producer of Inside Politics on CNN, Kristin Donnelly, tweeted that she was “thankful for vaccines. For responsible journalism. And to John King for sharing very personal news that shines a light on why it’s important to follow science”.

Politico reporter Heather Caygle added that it was “incredibly brave of John to share this on the show with us today”.

New York Times White House Correspondent and CNN Analyst Zolan Kanno-Youngs tweeted: “I wish I said it on-air but this personal appeal to the public to get vaccinated took a lot of bravery from John King. And I admire how he still took the time to make sure the attention was on the individuals who have lost their lives to Covid.”

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