CNN’s John King revealed on-air Tuesday that he has multiple sclerosis. The longtime Inside Politics host who also serves as CNN’s chief national correspondent was leading a discussion about the importance of vaccines when he brought up his diagnosis, and stressed how important being vaccinated is to help protect immunocompromised people like himself.
“I’m going to share a secret I have never spoken before. I am immunocompromised,” King said. “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.”
King’s disclosure on-air was influenced in part by the recent death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell over complications from Covid. Powell had been vaccinated, but also had a form of blood cancer, multiple mylenoma, both of which made him quite vulnerable to the coronavirus.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 19, 2021
Later on Tuesday, King spoke with Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on 89.7 FM GBH News about his remarks from earlier in the day. King, who grew up in Dorchester, Mass., has a recurring segment on the program, and told the hosts, “It was not planned. It is a secret I have kept for a long time except for a very few people.” He later added, ““When you have this misinformation about vaccines in a way that threatens people – 727,000 have died of Covid, they’re all American treasures just like Colin Powell was – if we could do anything to protect them we should do it. Even if we have to set aside a personal preference or principle. This is big enough.”