An emotional Don Lemon took to the air on Tuesday night visibly overwhelmed by the news of friend and colleague Chris Cuomo’s coronavirus diagnosis. The host of CNN Tonight, twice in the broadcast, wiped away tears when discussing the matter.

“I said I wasn’t going to do this,” Lemon said following a segment with CNN senior global affairs analyst Bianna Golodryga about how the pandemic would impact renters and homeowners. “He’s probably at home laughing at me.”

“He’s going to be fine, we have been talking all day and we are texting and he’s like, ‘People are treating me like I’m dying, I’m not dying,’” the host said about his neighbor who he often spars with playfully on-air.

News of Cuomo’s coronavirus diagnosis was revealed on Tuesday morning. “In these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus,” Cuomo wrote in a message on Twitter.

Though Cuomo is quarantined, he is still anchoring his show from the basement of his home. On Tuesday he bantered with Lemon to bring a playful take on a very serious matter. 

During a light moment in the broadcast, Don Lemon speaks with Chris Cuomo from his basement about his recent coronavirus diagnosis.
During a light moment in the broadcast, Don Lemon speaks with Chris Cuomo from his basement about his recent coronavirus diagnosis. Photo: CNN screengrab

“Listen, everybody, don’t get it twisted. We know this is very serious. This is how Chris and I interact, we tease each other.” Lemon said on-air. “So when I got the call earlier this morning, it said Christopher Cuomo, I was like, oh boy, here we go. But I was actually on a business call so I told you I’d call you back, I called you right back and I knew what you were going to tell me.”

Lemon added, “You’re a strong guy, so I know that you’ll be fine.”

Cuomo’s diagnosis comes at a time when news anchors and TV hosts around the country are readjusting to a new normal. In March, Wendy Williams and Whoopi Goldberg both decided to start hosting their popular daytime shows from home. Other broadcasts have shut down production indefinitely.     

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