Brooke Baldwin, like some of her CNN colleagues, is on the mend after her own battle with coronavirus.
The CNN Newsroom host joined ET's Nischelle Turner for a video chat on Monday to talk about her journey back to health, comparing notes with fellow host Chris Cuomo and what's next in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
"I would say I'm about 95 percent," Baldwin said of how she feels this week, after announcing she had tested negative for the virus on April 23. "I went back to work last week, and Friday afternoon I'm like, what happened to my body? What's going on? I mean, I'm still working back, but I feel nearly 100 percent."
The journalist shared that she had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on April 3, just days after Cuomo shared his own diagnosis, and while she admitted that she was initially "uncomfortable" sharing her health journey with followers and being on the other side of the news, she found strength in the outpouring of support she received from her friends and fans.
"I felt very vulnerable and... that's when I would sit in my bed and go through all these comments, just leaning into the love and support because that is what honestly helped me kick this thing," she shared. "I wanted people to see the real me, stripped down, vulnerable, sick, and also, in the end, I'm OK... I was one of the lucky ones, it didn't take that assault on my lungs like it has so many thousands of other people. I wasn't in the hospital, but I wanted people to see that there is hope."
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UPDATE — My 🦠 test just came back negative. I am virus free! I would like to DO SOME GOOD as a result of this: ideally donate my🩸plasma to those who are very sick. And in order to do that, I need an antibody test. And to get an antibody test, I needed a negative #COVID19 result. So... there ya go. Thank you again to the docs and the nurses on the frontlines doing the real work. (And if you watch this video... they call the coronavirus test a “brain tickler” for a reason.) Again 🙏🏼 THANK YOU 🙏🏼 for all your love and support and messages. #coronavirus #done #byefelicia👋 (Back on 📺 #CNN next Monday 1-3pmET.)
Baldwin said the worst of her coronavirus symptoms were "excruciating" body aches and exhaustion, noting that she "slept like a teenage boy," 12 or more hours per night. She fought through it with the help of over-the-counter painkillers and her husband of two years, James Fletcher.
"Just letting him take care of me, letting him hold me, letting him whisper, 'It's going to be okay,' and believing him," she said of her husband's support. "Leaning into just the interdependence of a marriage was something that I would never wish upon anyone, but having gone through, it I'm grateful for it."
She was also able to compare notes with Cuomo, who left his own at-home quarantine in late April but then dealt with two more diagnoses in his house: wife Cristina and his 14-year-old son, Mario.
"When I heard he was first sick, I instantly shot him an email, but I think he was, you know, hunkered down in his basement, and then I blinked and I got sick," she recalled. "I of course wished him well, and he's really fought the good fight."
"I mean, I got phone calls from Sanjay [Gupta], and Wolf [Blitzer], and Jake Tapper, they're all texting me and, of course, Don Lemon was blowing me up on days where I was like, 'I can't talk to you!'" she laughed.
Baldwin also had good fun discussing the "Cuomosexuals," self-proclaimed fans of Chris and his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "I mean, that whole Instagram account... of course [Andrew's] been a dear to me through the years. It's been so fun to watch."
She also sent a message of love and support to colleague Anderson Cooper, who announced the birth of his first child, son Wyatt, last week.
"He's a dad!" she exclaimed. "[Wyatt's] already got the furrowed brow, like he's ready with the top questions, little baby Anderson. I think there's a lot of sweetness and goodness in Anderson and I just, I'm so thrilled for him and wish him all the best."
"Congratulations to Anderson and our CNN political director David Chalian, who also -- he and his husband are having a baby this week. Mazel tov all around!"
As for what's next in her coronavirus battle, Baldwin said she's fighting for antibody tests for everyone and donating plasma to help people who are still sick with COVID-19.
"I feel like when I talk to family members with sick loved ones, I just... I understand it a bit more, and to have that empathy in a way that someone who is fortunate enough not to have doesn't," she noted. "I love to be able to bring that to CNN."
See more on the coronavirus pandemic in the video below.
Tue, 05/05/2020 - 17:43