Stephen A Smith, longtime host of ESPN’s First Take, suffered an extreme case of Covid-19 the past few weeks. He told fans on Monday that he had pneumonia, a high fever and massive headaches. Despite being fully vaccinated, the virus hit the ESPN commentator especially hard.
Testing positive in mid-December, Stephen A Smith was hospitalized over New Years with a high fever. “For me personally, it hit me differently,” he revealed as he returned to First Take on Monday after several weeks away.
“You’re assuming that you’ll have a fever, might have a cough, gonna have that massive headache — but you’ll get over it,” Stephen A Smith said. “In a lot of cases that was the case. In my case it was totally different.”
“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,” he continued. “That’s how I brought in the New Year.”
Doctors allegedly told him that had he not been vaccinated, he probably would have died.
“I can’t tell you how lucky and sincerely blessed I am to be sitting here with you guys today,” Steven A Smith told his First Take co-hosts on Monday, “because two-and-a-half, three weeks ago, I didn’t know if I was going to make it.”
“That’s how bad it was,” he recalled. “I had pneumonia in both lungs. My liver was bad. It ravaged me to the point where even now I have to monitor my volume.”
Though he has since tested negative for Covid-19, he said that he’s still not at 100 percent.
“If it wasn’t for several doctors, I wouldn’t be here,” he revealed. “Love and respect for what they did.”
The First Take host and commentator also thanked ESPN executives, friends, and family for checking on him every day to hear how he was doing.
He also strongly encouraged people to continue to wearing masks in crowded areas and protect those close to you from getting Covid-19.
“I think the one thing to emphasize the importance of, no matter how you feel about the vaccine, that mask is important,” he said. “The reason why the mask is so important is you don’t know how the next person is affected. How I’m affected is different from you are affected.”
“My sister smokes and she had Covid and she was fine in 3-4 days,” he explained. “Me? I don’t smoke and it almost took me out.”
Now in high spirits, Stephen A Smith joked about the Dallas Cowboys’ loss in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, seemingly back to his usual routine as the controversial ESPN host. He allegedly told Dallas fans that they “deserved” to be “miserable” after Sunday’s loss.
Dancing and donning a black cowboy hat, he posted on Twitter with the caption, “HOWDY ON THIS SPECIAL DAY.”
“I’m on the road to recovery,” he said. “I’m ecstatic to be back. I’ve missed being at work.”
“I’ve used more sick days in the last month than I’ve used in my 28-year career in this business combined,” he stated. “I don’t take many sick days, but I had to do it this month just to survive.”