Andy Cohen Recounts His Battle With Coronavirus and Being Quarantined Away From His Son

Talk-show host and celebrity superfan also takes Stern Show staffer JD Harmeyer to task for recent on-air criticisms

March 31, 2020

Andy Cohen proved he’s one of the most resilient entertainers in the business this week after returning to host “Watch What Happens Live” despite testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. On Tuesday morning, the late-night star, SiriusXM personality, and Stern Show celebrity superfan joined Howard to share his story with the world.

Andy told Howard he started experiencing symptoms around March 16 but considering his busy schedule he can’t be sure exactly how or when he contracted the virus. “People kept saying, ‘Where did you get it from?’ And I’m like, ‘Do you know how many people I came into contact with last week? It’s a lot,’” he laughed.

It was his doctor who helped him get an expedited coronavirus test. On March 20, he shared the results with the world and became one of the first celebrities to come forward about testing positive for COVID-19.

“Were you sitting at home going, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die?’” Howard asked.

“No. You know what? I had the symptoms that you read about which are fever, tight chest, achy, no sense of smell, cough,” Andy said, adding, “I’m asthmatic, so … the lungs are the thing that you should monitor and be concerned about.”

His doctor advised him to purchase a pulse oximeter, a small device which measures one’s pulse and blood oxygen level. “He gave me a reading and said if it goes below this number call me,” Andy explained. “I was sticking my finger in this thing all day long just making sure I was okay, um, and that is what kept me calm.

His condition never got so bad he needed to go to the hospital and now he’s finally starting to feel better.

One of the biggest challenges Andy endured was being separated away from his 1-year-old son Benjamin Allen for nearly two weeks on doctor’s orders. “I stayed away with him for I think it was 13 days total,” he told Howard. “I saw him yesterday for the first time.”

Looking back at his experience, Andy offered Howard’s listeners some sage advice. “If you get it and you start having these symptoms you have to say, ‘Okay, well the odds are with me,” Andy said, adding, “You can’t panic. If the odds are that 80 percent of you are gonna get it in a case like I had, then you have to let it just work through your system.”

On a lighter note, Howard wondered if Andy had been physically intimate with anyone since entering self-quarantine.

“No, and I’m really wondering when that will happen again,” he admitted.

Howard told his guest he could always try virtual sex, like Stern Show staffer Chris Wilding has apparently done, but Andy pointed out a few reasons why a celebrity of his stature might want to avoid exposing himself on video. “I’ve thought of that and it’s not in my realm,” he said.

Though intimacy has proven difficult since contracting COVID-19, Andy told Howard all his free time at home has finally allowed him to binge on a critically acclaimed television show he’d been putting off. “There were all these years where you guys would be discussing ‘Game of Thrones’ on the show and I never watched it,” he said. “Well, it took a pandemic for me and I am now halfway through Season 3 and I’m really enjoying it.”

While Andy seemed as cheery as could be expected on Tuesday, he told Howard his reason for joining the show was a bone he needed to pick with JD Harmeyer. Earlier that morning, the Stern Show staffer had served up some technical criticisms of “Watch What Happens Live,” which Andy resumed hosting on Monday night. The host caught wind of JD’s critique via social media and was none too happy.

“I’m trying to do a show. It’s like hanging on by a piece of Scotch tape,” Andy told JD, adding, “It was my first show back. I mean, we’re at the mercy of people’s wi-fi connections.”

“First of all, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I like you. I was not shitting on the show,” JD said. He swore his criticism wasn’t directed at Andy but at one of his guest’s technical difficulties. “I only shit on Jerry O’Connell’s internet connection,” JD insisted.

“Oh, it was terrible,” Andy agreed before telling listeners to tune in this week for guests ranging from “Vanderpump Rules” cast members to musician John Mayer.

His work schedule may be picking up again, but the talk show host and COVID-19 survivor was quick to remind Howard he’s never too busy to receive lewd pictures from Stern Show listeners. “Your audience is always so generous in [direct messaging] me, um, dick pics and, you know, it’s a quarantine. So, fill up my inbox, everybody,” Andy finished.

Watch Andy Cohen on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live,” airing Sunday through Thursday at 11 p.m. ET, and hear him on Radio Andy on SiriusXM channel 102.