Transcript for Amy Klobuchar discusses husband's COVID-19 recovery
So from the white house to her own house, senator Amy klobuchar is battling the pandemic on several fronts different right now, and she joins us now from Minnesota with her husband John Bessler who recently recovered from covid-19. Welcome, senator, and welcome, John. How are you feeling? Thank you. I'm feeling good. You know, it's been about six weeks since I first had the symptoms and I was self-quarantining in my apartment and then -- in D.C., and then we had a -- was in the hospital for several days and just gradually getting better. My lungs feel good now, so I feel good. Thanks for asking. Yeah, the only remaining symptom, whoopi, is that somehow he can't clean the basement, because he said there might be too much dust. Yeah, I'm going to get a doctor's note. Right. Can you smell everything? Yes, I can. Smell and taste is good? The strange thing about this is it affects everybody a little differently and can really hit anybody. I'm 52, healthy, ran a couple marathons in my life, and yet it came. I was working one day just fine and the next day hit with these symptoms of fever. And so everybody's got to be really careful out there because this can really affect anybody. So senator, after you dropped out of the presidential race, John started to experience symptoms around that time, right? When did you start to get concerned about it? I would assume immediately, right? Our story is like so many other stories, and that's what's so frightening about it. You never know. It's so scary how this disease is going to take a turn. I kept calling him. I was in Minnesota. He had a temperature. We didn't know if he had it, and for days it was over 100 degrees and he would give it to me in centigrade because that was our thermometer and then I'd Google the conversion to fahrenheit and every day I'd say it's over 100, you should go to the doctor. Finally he ends up going to the emergency room after he coughs up blood and finds out that his oxygen levels are at 70. That's really dangerous. He had severe pneumonia and they checked him right into the hospital. It took six days for us to get the test back and by then everyone was almost sure he had and I'm just so thankful that, one, he didn't go out and expose other people which is about following the rules, and that, two, I found out what it's like for so many families, you can't hold the hand of your loved one. The health care workers are holding the phone up to their ear and for so many people the story is worse, that don't take a turn for the better, the health care workers are the last one with their husband or wife or mother or dad. That's the hardest thing about this disease. It is so incredibly lonely, and I'm just so happy he's back. John, as you said, you are young and healthy. You're 52 years old. You have no underlying health conditions and yet as you said you were hospitalized on supplemental oxygen. You aren't supposed to be the beta test of a person who gets affected like this. What would you like the American people to know about Well, just that, you know, a lot of people are asymptomatic as they say and so they may be carriers of the virus, they just don't realize it because they don't feel all the same symptoms. This can really impact people who do have those underlying health conditions as well as people who really don't. And so you just don't know. It's sort of a lottery, this coronavirus, in terms of what your symptoms are going to be like, and so people just need to follow the rules, make sure they're engaging in that social distancing even though it's hard, so make sure that other people don't get infected and so you flatten that curve. The other really important thing is what he did now that he's like a superhero with his immunities, which means he likes to go to the grocery store and things like that with his mask, is that he was able to find out that he could give plasma to help other people. This is a new thing that's happening, and not many people know about it. So he went down to the mayo clinic and gave plasma and they believe that this kind of plasma, it's a national trial going on right now, is going to be able to be given to people to save their lives. People who had tested positive for coronavirus and recovered can check this out at uscovidplasma.org. It's a site where people can go to to figure out where they can give their own plasma, their own blood. Yeah, it's a great program. It's a new study they're doing. Well, it's amazing, I have to as everyone has said, we're really glad you survived this thing because, you know, people have all kinds of crazy notions about what to do. As you know, the man who is running the country suggested that, you know, some kind of light therapy or disinfectant could be used. I mean, where are you in terms of how this has been handled having gone through it yourself? Where do you stand about what you're hearing from the top people? Well, I think it's all about science. We have to follow the doctors' advice and the scientists. I think that's who we should be listening to at this point. So many people watch the president. He's the leader of our country, and when you see him, whether he's joking or not, literally looking at people and saying, basically implying, you can chug bleach or, you know, maybe we can inject some light into you, that is the exact opposite of what a leader should be doing. And we can tune him out and a lot of people are starting to do that. You can tune him out, but you can't tune out the fact that we don't have enough tests. So that's part of why we can't open the economy again, that we don't have enough protective gear for our front line workers, that we do not have the kind of national leadership that we need. That's what the problem is right now. It's not only what he says, which we can rant and rave about all we want. It's also what he hasn't done, and that's what's starting to become glaringly clear as you see the governors taking the lead in each state, but not every state has a mayo clinic like we do. You've got to have a national testing strategy and get those national tests out to every state in the country. John, as the weather gets warmer, we're seeing people naturally getting restless. This weekend we saw packed beaches and parks, especially in those places that have sort of relaxed these stay-at-home orders. What do you want to say to people who are experiencing, I don't know, quarantined fatigue? Yeah, I mean, at really hard because when you're self-quarantining for days and days at a time, it's really hard. So I think people just need to hunker down, find things that they can do at home that are -- watch movies, reconnect with friends through zoom. Fix the closet. Do some home improvement projects, exactly. That is a really great thing that I've found to occupy day after day if you want to do it. It is hard. People go a little stir crazy but I think in the interest of public health we should still be following what the doctors are telling us and that is that there are so many people -- we've had people dying in nursing homes here in Minnesota. We've got to be really vigilant about this because this doesn't take the weekends off. The virus is there and it's highly trance missable. I think stepping back and being grateful for everyone around you and calling those seniors that you know. It's different in visiting like my own dad, remembering to call, skyping in, making sure people get their groceries and thinking about your day in a different way and making a plan for your day that involves helping other people, as hard as your own situation might be. Yeah, and if you think you have it hard, think about the front line health care workers that are working every day in the hospitals. Yeah.
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