Toward the end of his weekly coronavirus town hall on Thursday night, Anderson Cooper broke some good news and offered a moment of reprieve from the ongoing pandemic: “I am a dad.”
Welcome Wyatt Morgan Cooper! @AndersonCooper's son was born on Monday. New life, new love. pic.twitter.com/L3Af2TtYAq— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 1, 2020
The anchor, whose interviews during the pandemic have seen him clash with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and console a woman whose husband had died of covid-19, was emotional in announcing Wyatt’s birth on a day in which the U.S. coronavirus death toll approached 63,000.
“It’s been a difficult time in all of our lives, and there are certainly many hard days ahead,” Cooper said. “It is, I think, especially important in these times of trouble to try to hold on to moments of joy and moments of happiness.”
He added, “Even as we mourn the loss of loved ones, we’re also blessed with new life and new love.”
When he said on-air that he had become a father, Cooper was still processing the weight of the life event.
“I’ve never actually said that before, out loud, and it still kind of astonishes me,” he said. “I am a dad.”
In an Instagram post earlier in the day, Cooper, who included the first images of his newborn son, described Wyatt as “sweet, and soft, and healthy.” Cooper credited the surrogate and doctors who helped along the way.
“As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth,” he said. “Most of all, I am eternally grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, watched over him lovingly, tenderly, and gave birth to him. It’s an extraordinary blessing which she and all surrogates give to families who can’t have children.”
View this post on Instagram
I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing - what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.
In picking his son’s name, the host looked to his family. Wyatt was the name of Cooper’s father, a screenwriter and author who died of a heart attack when the CNN anchor was only 10 years old. His death at 50 affected Cooper “enormously,” remembered his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, to New York magazine in 2005. (Vanderbilt, 95, died of stomach cancer last June.)
Gloria Vanderbilt, socialite and designer-jeans marketer who was the subject of a sensational custody trial in the 1930s, dies at 95
“I think I’m a lot like my father,” he said in 2005. “I reread his book, [‘Families: A Memoir and a Celebration’], probably once a year. To me it’s sort of a letter from him to me and sort of a guide on … how he would have wanted me to live my life and the choices he would have wanted me to make. And so I feel very connected to him.”
He mentioned his father last week while interviewing Katie Coelho, a 33-year-old widow whose 32-year-old husband, Jonathan, died of covid-19 after a four-week stay at a Connecticut hospital.
“I can tell you my dad died when I was a little kid and I know he really tried not to die because he didn’t want to leave my brother and I and not have us know him,” the host said to Coelho last week, fighting through the tears.
On Thursday, Cooper explained that the baby’s middle name, Morgan, came from a list his parents had made of possible names for him 52 years ago.
Even in finding happiness during the global crisis, Cooper got choked up as he mentioned those who aren’t alive to meet Wyatt. He remembered his parents and late brother, Carter, who killed himself at the age of 23.
“I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues,” he said.
As the photos of his baby flashed across the screen at the end of the show, Cooper, overwhelmed by the events of the week, said he wanted to be to Wyatt what his own father was to him.
“I hope I can be as good a dad as he was,” he said.
Coronavirus: What you need to know
Where do things stand? See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.
The state of public health: Conservative and libertarian forces have defanged much of the nation’s public health system through legislation and litigation as the world staggers into the fourth year of covid.
Grief and the pandemic: A Washington Post reporter covered the coronavirus — and then endured the death of her mother from covid-19. She offers a window into grief and resilience.
Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?
Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.
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