The CBS This Morning co-host shared her unfiltered views about unvaccinated relatives on Monday’s show during a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci on the challenge of getting more Americans fully inoculated amid the threat of COVID-19’s Delta variant.
‘I don’t know how many more times you can say to people, “Listen, it will save your life,”‘ King, 66, told Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the White House’s chief medical adviser.
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Candid: Gayle King, 66, opened up about having unvaccinated relatives on CBS This Morning on Monday during a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci about COVID-19’s Delta variant
Laying down the law: King, who was vaccinated earlier this year, told Dr. Fauci that she will ‘ban’ family members from her Thanksgiving celebrations if they don’t get the COVID -19 shot
Group gathering: King’s annual Thanksgiving trip with her family was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but they previously spent the holiday in Mexico (pictured) and Puerto Rico
King added that she is taking measures to protect herself against her own relatives who have yet to get vaccinated, admitting that she has a ‘problem’ with members of her family who haven’t had the shot.
‘I have this problem with some members of my own family, which I’m now going to ban for Thanksgiving vacation,’ she continued. ‘That’s how strongly I’m taking what you’re saying.’
King’s annual Thanksgiving trip with her family was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the group previously spent the holiday in Mexico in 2019 and Puerto Rico in 2018.
When the journalist spoke of unvaccinated family members, she likely wasn’t referring to her children — Kirby Bumpus, 35, and William Bumpus Jr., 34 — whom she recently saw in California.
King flew to Los Angeles last month to spend some quality time with her son, who had undergone Achilles repair surgery, and her daughter, who is pregnant with her first child.
Reunited: King flew to Los Angeles last month to spend some quality time with her son William Bumpus Jr. (far right) and pregnant daughter Kirby Bumpus (left, center)
In May, King opened up about how grateful she is to have received her COVID-19 vaccine during a virtual appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
‘I was so afraid to leave the house,’ she recalled. ‘We were broadcasting from here, so I’d literally go from my bedroom to the TV room to the kitchen to the bedroom to the TV room.
‘For excitement I’d go stand in the living room and wave at the birds! “Hi, birds! Hi!” I was so afraid.’
King said she was ‘tired of being scared,’ saying the vaccine is her ‘superpower’ and has given her the confidence to take ‘little baby steps’ back into the world.
The mother of two spent months away from children while in lockdown in her New York City home at the start of the pandemic. Like many families, they celebrated special occasions from across the country via Zoom.
Looking back: King spent months away from children while in lockdown in her New York City home at the start of the pandemic. She’s pictured working from home in July 2020
Quarantine: Like many families, King and her children celebrated special occasions from across the country via Zoom
Back in the world: The journalist, pictured covering the election in November, recently shared that she was ‘so afraid to leave the house,’ saying the vaccine is her ‘superpower’
King had an emotional reunion with her best friend Oprah Winfrey at the media mogul’s estate in Montecito, California, in July 2020 after months apart.
The CBS News star spent two weeks quarantined in Winfrey’s guest house and tested negative for COVID-19 before they shared an emotional ‘COVID-free’ hug outside the main house.
Gayle and her team weren’t the only ones who had to quarantine in Winfrey’s guest house during the pandemic.
In March 2020, Winfrey revealed that she and her longtime partner Stedman Graham were temporarily sleeping in separate houses over coronavirus concerns.
Happy: King and her best friend Oprah Winfrey shared a ‘COVID-free’ hug when they officially reunited at the media mogul’s home in Montecito, California, in July 2020 after months apart
Sweet moment: Videos of the emotional reunion show King and Winfrey walking towards each other with open arms
Living it up: King and her team remained socially distanced from Winfrey for two weeks while they quarantined in her guest house as they awaited their COVID-19 test results
The TV legend, who contracted pneumonia in late 2019, explained in an Instagram Live video that she sent Stedman to quarantine in the guest house for two weeks after he returned home from traveling to the midwest.
‘He was like, “What’s the procedure for coming home?” And I was like, “You ain’t coming in here and sleeping in my bed. It doesn’t work that way,”‘ she said.
‘Social distancing doesn’t mean you can go sleep in a bed with someone after you got off American Airlines. We can not play those games.’
‘I leave food on the doorstep,’ she added. ‘He’s happy to have me safe. We just take him dinner and we take him breakfast.’
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 606,000 American deaths have been recorded, but daily fatalities have fallen from an average of 4,000 deaths in early February 2021 during the winter surge to 230 this month, in large part thanks to the vaccine.
Safety first: In March 2020, Winfrey revealed that she made her longtime partner Stedman Graham quarantine in the guest house for two weeks after he returned home from traveling
However, researchers from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) said this progress could be reversed as the vaccination campaign stalls in the U.S. and the Indian Delta variant continues to sweep across the country, causing surges in pockets of the U.S. with both high and low vaccination rates.
The researchers ran simulations to determine what would have happened if no vaccines had been distributed through summer 2021.
Results of the study showed there would have been up to 279,000 more COVID-19-related deaths and 1.25 million hospitalizations from the virus.
‘The vaccines have been strikingly successful in reducing the spread of the virus and saving hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States alone,’ said lead author Dr. Alison Galvani, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at YSPH, in a news release.
‘Yet until a greater majority of Americans are vaccinated, many more people could still die from this virus. The danger is not over. Now is not the time to let down our guard.’