Cuomo has been quarantined in the basement of his home where he continues to work, including anchoring “Cuomo Prime Time.” He was last at the network’s offices on Friday, CNN reported.
The 49-year-old tweeted his concern about infecting his family, writing “that would make me feel worse than this illness!”
Cuomo’s profile has risen during the coronavirus crisis, owing to his sometimes affectionate, sometimes prickly interviews with his brother, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D). From his basement on Monday night, the CNN anchor kept pestering his governor brother about whether he’d ever consider running for president.
During his daily news briefing on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo said the state’s two-part battle against the pandemic involved expanding health-care capacity and making sure people stay home, prompting him to mention his younger brother’s diagnosis.
“He is going to be fine. He’s young, in good shape, strong. Not as strong as he thinks. But he will be fine,” Gov. Cuomo said. “But there’s a lesson in this: he’s an essential worker, a member of the press, so he’s been out there. If you go out there, the chances you get infected are high.”
Cuomo is the latest CNN employee to contract covid-19. As of last week, news organizations such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and NBC all announced at least one employee had tested positive for the virus. In March, several major outlets based in New York City, which has become a hot spot for the pandemic, largely emptied their newsrooms to practice social distancing.
Another news anchor, BBC News’s George Alagiah, said he tested positive on Tuesday; he’s also a cancer patient and has characterized his covid-19 symptoms as mild.
Several people working at news organizations have died after becoming infected. NBC News’s Larry Edgeworth, 61, and CBS News’s Maria Mercader, 54, are among the causalities. Alan Finder, 72, a longtime New York Times journalist who retired in 2011 but continued to work part-time on the paper’s international desk, died last week.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order dubbed “Matilda’s Law,” named after his mother, meant to protect people older than 70 and with underlying medical conditions. It requires New Yorkers to limit visiting family, among other directives.
On Tuesday, the governor called it “a mistake” for his mother to have visited Chris Cuomo’s house two weeks ago.
“You could expose mom to the virus, and sometimes love needs to be a little be smarter than just reactive,” the governor said. “If he was exposed, and she was exposed, and then we’d be looking at a very different situation than my brother sitting in his basement for two weeks.”
Chris Cuomo later addressed the governor’s comments on his SiriusXM program, “Let’s Get After It," saying “my brother has beat me over the head a little bit" about their mother.
“I did have her here with me because I thought it was safer for her ... than in the city alone, and he did convince me to move her to my sister in Westchester a few weeks ago, and that was the right move," Chris Cuomo said. “Because I am going to be exposed a lot, and even though I loved her and I wanted her here, the same love was misplacing the smartest move.”
He also conceded that he knew “it was just a matter of time” before he was infected.