ESPN's Stephen A. Smith spent New Year's Day in the hospital due to COVID-19. Smith — who is negative for the virus now — spoke about how the virus affected him, saying he was told, "Had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn't be here."
Smith returned the ESPN's "First Take" on Tuesday, where he shared his experience with COVID-19. Smith tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-December. His symptoms got worse, resulting in Smith being in the hospital on New Year's Day, according to the New York Post.
“I had 103 degree fever every night. Woke up with chills and a pool of sweat. Headaches were massive. Coughing profusely. And it got to a point where right before New Year’s Eve, I was in the hospital into New Year’s Day. That’s how I brought in the New Year.”
Doctors reportedly told Smith he would have died if he wasn't vaccinated. Smith added he's still working his back.
“They told me, had I not been vaccinated, I wouldn’t be here. That’s how bad it was. I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It had ravaged me to the point where even now I have monitor my volume — get to the gym every day, walk before you run. Work your way back because I’m still not 100% with my lungs, but I’m COVID negative. I’m on the road to recovery."
Smith thanked the doctors who treated him and encouraged viewers to continue wearing masks in public to keep those around them safe. Smith pointed out that no one knows how COVID-19 will affect the person next to them, so it's important to mask up.
Smith was excited to be back on television. He said he was blessed and lucky to be back, adding, "Two-and-a-half, three weeks ago, I didn’t know if I was gonna make it."