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Chris Cuomo walks back comments that coronavirus battle made him question whether CNN show is "worth my time"

Cuomo brothers talk coronavirus
Cuomo brothers talk coronavirus 14:13

Chris Cuomo on Tuesday walked back comments he made about epiphanies he had during his battle with coronavirus. The CNN anchor had vented on his radio show the day before about no longer seeing the point of his primetime position — and said he'd trade it all for the freedom to tell his critics to "go to hell."

But Cuomo clarified Tuesday that he's sticking with his job, and is instead questioning if his work is making a difference.

"I don't want to spend my time doing things that I don't think are valuable enough to me personally," Cuomo said Monday on his SiriusXM show. "Like what? Well, I don't like what I do professionally, I've decided."

Cuomo said his recent bout of COVID-19 made him rethink his job as the host of CNN's top-rated "Cuomo Prime Time."

"I don't think it's worth my time," he said.

The New York Post first reported on Cuomo's comments.

The CNN star rattled off a long list of grievances about his on-air gig. He said he doesn't "value indulging irrationality, hyper-partisanship" or "trafficking in things that I think are ridiculous." He also said he doesn't want to spend time talking to either Democrats or Republicans who are spouting things they don't really mean.

And he said he's done analyzing President Trump, who he said is "full of s**t by design."

Cuomo — who ended up in headlines last year after confronting a man who called him "Fredo," an insult against Italians — also recounted a story about a "loser biker" who heckled him on Easter for being outside his home with his family despite being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Cuomo said he felt his celebrity left him "in an almost powerless position" during the confrontation, and he wished he could just tell critics to "go to hell."

"That matters to me more than making millions of dollars a year," Cuomo said.

On Tuesday, Cuomo devoted a segment on his radio show to clarifying his previous comments. He said he had "never been in a better position professionally than I am in right now," and just signed a long-term contract with CNN. 

"As a matter of fact, I love where I am. I love the position that I've been given. And I love who I'm doing it with," he said.

He said his frustrations were not with the show itself, but whether his efforts are having the impact he wants.

"It is frustrating to do this job in an environment where people are not interested and open. It is hard to practice journalism when people are so intent on believing what they want to believe for political advantage," he said.

"It makes you question, is it worth the effort? Can I make a difference? Can I personally make a difference? Is the way I do this working? If it's not working can I do it differently, do I want to do it differently?"

When asked for a statement, CNN directed CBS News to Cuomo's segment on Tuesday.

Cuomo's initial rant came the same day he expressed frustration on his CNN show about still fighting symptoms two weeks after being diagnosed with coronavirus. Besides the physical ailments, he said the virus also "creates emotional illness and creates psychological illness."

"It is causing people depression. And it's creating brain fog. And it's creating edginess in people," he said. "I'm experiencing that. It messes with your head, this virus. And I don't know where it leaves you afterwards."

Cuomo has previously struck a more positive tone during the coronavirus crisis — including viral conversations with his older brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — and kept broadcasting from his basement even during the worst days after his diagnosis. Governor Cuomo credited his little brother for "doing a great public service" for continuing his show while fighting the virus.

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