Don Lemon broke down in tears during Tuesday's broadcast of CNN Tonight while discussing his friend and CNN co-worker Chris Cuomo's coronavirus diagnosis. The 54-year-old got visibly emotional when talking with the network's senior global affairs analyst, Bianna Golodryga. Watch the clip here.
After Golodryga spoke, Lemon attempted to chime in. "The hospitals – um, um, I'm sorry that's the next thing. I told you I was distracted," he said. "I'm sorry about that." Golodryga offered a few words of support to Lemon, saying that he's been "trying to be stoic and focus on the headlines" during a difficult time, mentioning Cuomo and his diagnosis. At that point, Lemon started wiping away tears. "Sorry, I said I wasn't going to do this, Jesus. He's probably sitting at home laughing at me."
The emotional moment came just a few hours after Cuomo announced on social media that he tested positive for COVID-19, noting that he's hopeful he hasn't given it to his wife, Cristina, or their children as he remains isolated in their basement.
"Chris and I are very good friends. We live near each other. And so when I walk into work every day I have to walk by where Chris is, so I usually go to his office and sometimes I bring the dogs and we just say hello," Lemon explained. "Anyway, he's just not here, and we have this great relationship."
Earlier in the show, Lemon interviewed Cuomo via video chat, the two giving each other a hard time. "Where's your suit?" Lemon asked Cuomo. "I'm too sick," Cuomo replied, further adding how "it didn't look right for me to be sick in a funeral suit. It's too much like what I might be buried in."
Lemon's moment of vulnerability hasn't been the only one on live TV. Last week, Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb got overwhelmed following an interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who announced a plan to donate $5 million in coronavirus relief efforts in Louisiana, where Kotb spent much of her early career. Kotb, 55, broke down crying, unable to send the show to break.
"You sort of look around for someone to hug just because and you realize OK, that's also part of it," Kotb explained at the time. "But anyway. The new normal, we get used to it."
Kotb and co-anchor Savannah Guthrie were reunited Tuesday after Guthrie spent two weeks in self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution after feeling a mild sore throat and runny nose.