During a conversation about COVID-19 vaccines, CNN anchor John King revealed on Tuesday that he has multiple sclerosis, and stressed the importance of vaccinations to protect immunocompromised people like himself.
"I’m going to share a secret I have never spoken before," King said on CNN on Tuesday. "I am immunocompromised. 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," King continued. "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," King added. "I don’t like my boss telling me what to do. In this case, it’s important.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls multiple sclerosis, or MS, "an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system," which "can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted."
MS can cause a number of symptoms ranging from fatigue, vision problems and impaired coordination and muscle weakness, which can be severe enough to impair walking or standing, per the NIH. The symptoms, and their severity, can range from person to person, and there is currently no cure for MS.
The discussion was prompted by a discussion about former Secretary of State Colin Powell dying from complications caused by COVID-19 on Monday at the age of 84 despite being fully vaccinated against the deadly virus. Powell was more vulnerable to COVID-19, despite his vaccination status, because of his advanced age and battle with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that impairs the body’s ability to fight infections — and to respond well to vaccines.
The CNN graphic chyron on screen during King's segment on Tuesday read "Right wing media use Colin Powell’s death to question vaccines when unvaccinated face 11x higher risk of dying from COVID."
This graphic represents data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which suggests that as of August, people who are not vaccinated are more than 6 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and just over 11 times more likely to die from the coronavirus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.