Stephen A. Smith Recalls His Difficult Battle with Covid: ‘I Had Pneumonia, Both Lungs’

By A.J. Katz 

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is known for the bombast and high energy he brings to each and every broadcast. But he struck a more somber tone during Tuesday’s broadcast of his morning show First Take.

Smith shared that he contracted Covid late last year and that it almost killed him.

“I had a 103-degree fever every night,” said Smith. “Woke up with chills, pool of sweat. Headaches were massive, coughing profusely … I had pneumonia, both lungs,” he added.


Smith said he spent New Year’s Eve in the hospital, adding, “They [the doctors] told me had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. That’s how bad it was.”

Smith said he is OK now—Covid-negative, and on the road to recovery.