DON Lemon broke down in an emotional moment over co-worker and friend Chris Cuomo's coronavirus diagnosis on-air on Tuesday.
The emotional moment came after Cuomo said in an earlier video call with CNN he was experiencing a tight chest and had shortness of breath – potentially serious and even deadly symptoms of coronavirus.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo had revealed his brother Chris' diagnosis on Tuesday.
Lemon fought back tears as he spoke with CNN's senior global affairs analyst, Bianna Golodryga during a broadcast of CNN Tonight.
The news anchor struggled to keep his composure as he became overwhelmed with emotion while the he and Golodryga were discussing the virus' impact on renters and homeowners.
"The hospitals – um, um – I'm sorry, that's the next thing. I told you I was distracted. I'm sorry about that, Thank you Bianna," he said after Golodryga finished speaking.
Golodryga then offered words of support to Lemon.
"This is one of those situations where you try to be stoic and focus on the headlines," she said.
"It's tough, it's tough – so you know, I also feel for Chris and I know it's tough on you and we're all fighting and rooting for him tonight."
Lemon then choked up, fighting back tears as he began speaking about Cuomo's diagnosis.
"Well, you know. Sorry," he said as he wiped away tears and his voice began to falter.
"I said I wasn't going to do this, Jesus."
"He's probably sitting at home laughing at me," he said with a chuckle.
He then revealed he was struggling with Cuomo's coronavirus diagnosis as the two are close friends.
"When I walk into work every day – and Chris and I are really good friends, we live near each other. And so when I walk into work every day, I have to walk by where Chris lives. So I usually go to his office and sometimes I bring the dogs and we just say hello."
"Anyway, he's just not here and we have this great relationship," he said.
Golodryga then spoke of her and Cuomo's own relationship, and talked about when the two used to work together at ABC.
"He was one of the first people to congratulate me when I was pregnant, telling me that meant I was healthy.
"Speaking of healthy, I don't know anyone who's healthier than Chris and so it was good to see his face on television tonight.
"It's just a reminder: This impacts everyone and anyone and it doesn't discriminate," she added.
Earlier in his video call from home with CNN, Cuomo had spoken of the severity of the virus.
"Brace yourself," Cuomo told viewers.
"Not for a hoax. But for the next few weeks of scary and painful realities. This is a fight. It's going to get worse. We're going to suffer."
He teared up himself as he reminded people that anyone can become sick with COVID-19 – not just those that are considered high-risk.
"Let me serve as confirmation of the reality – you can get this," Cuomo said.
Coronavirus spread has continued rapidly around the nation, as U.S. cases near 190,000 with over 4,000 deaths.
New York City remains the nation's epicenter, with more than 76,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 and deaths topping 1,000.
Officials warned Tuesday that around 240,000 Americans could die from coronavirus, as President Donald Trump warned the nation should prepare for a "very painful" two weeks ahead.
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