CNN’s John King is opening up about his battle with multiple sclerosis, one day after disclosing his diagnosis live on air.
The host of CNN’s Inside Politics and the network’s chief national correspondent spoke with New Day’s John Berman about MS on Wednesday, saying that his fight with the disease goes back to when he was covering the Clinton administration. At first, King had difficulties feeling his legs, but had not been diagnosed at that point. He then started to have issues feeling his upper body during the 2008 GOP convention, and that was when doctors were finally able to determine King had multiple sclerosis.
“Back in those days it was frightening,” King said. “It was very frightening. And I decided to keep it a secret, and then I kind of got caught in that. And very few people, a few people, dozen people know—my siblings, my family, those closest to me and my family have known about it. And more recently I told some people I work with. Mistake to keep it a secret because if I can do anything to help, I should have done that. I was scared early on.”
King added, “It sucks. Every day it is with me in some nagging way. Other days it is with me in more profound challenging ways. You fall down, you can’t pick things up. But I’m so lucky, John. That’s the point. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been reluctant to talk about it is that, here are people who get this disease and other diseases who are not so lucky. Mine has progressed very slowly.”
The longtime CNN anchor and correspondent admits that Election Night in America 2020, when he was on his feet at the Magic Wall for hours on end, was especially tiring.
“I was proud of myself,” King said—referencing how he felt after the election concluded in 2020. “I don’t like to talk about myself, I’m sorry. But at the end of that week, I was proud of myself because I knew how hard some of those days were. But it was important for me to do it.”
“I hope nobody noticed it, but election week in America was probably one of my worst weeks last year. I was having a lot of trouble functioning.”@JohnKingCNN discusses his 13-year-long battle with multiple sclerosis.https://t.co/IiuDVGFOCD pic.twitter.com/32U771H76k
— New Day (@NewDay) October 20, 2021
It’s also worth noting that King recently shouted out Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, who announced Tuesday that he tested positive for Covid-19. Cavuto, like King, also suffers from MS. From CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter:
King described Cavuto to me as one of his “heroes” and a “warrior.” He said that Cavuto is someone he watches and admires. “I would just hope that everybody would remember Neil Cavuto, or a stranger on a bus or in a coffee shop, might be in a similar situation,” King said. “And there are things you can do to protect them.
King also made an appearance Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America, chatting with George Stephanopoulos about his fight with MS, and at the end of their six-plus-minute segment, Robin Roberts chimed in as well.