NBC's Joseph Fair is 'still on oxygen,' recovering from coronavirus at home

Fair told TODAY that last Monday, he was having so much trouble breathing that he had to call himself an ambulance.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Maura Hohman

Almost a week after NBC News medical contributor Dr. Joseph Fair was first hospitalized for COVID-19, he announced that he's been discharged.

"After 6 days, I’m being released with O2," the epidemiologist wrote on Twitter. "I cannot thank my caregivers & the @NBCNews @MSNBC family enough. I also thank you all for they prayers and messages, even by fax. They lifted me up in hard times. Home to convalesce, but back as soon as my body permits."

He went on to thank the health care workers, "first responders, grocery checkers, janitors, teachers, truckers, pharmacists & everyone else keeping us going. I salut you all."

Fair also had a message for people posting negativity online amid the pandemic.

"To the vitriolic: I pray for you to find peace & happiness," he said. "Life is too short to be so angry. Don’t hate ppl for wanting to save lives. Coming from a poor family, I am not against reopening. I want us to do it as safely as possible. Let’s work to find a middle/safe ground."

Fair's colleague, NBC News correspondent Kate Snow, shared the news on Instagram, as well. The coronavirus is a personal topic for her because her husband, Chris Bro, was believed to be infected.

"So happy to report that virologist Joseph Fair ... is out of the hospital and recovering at home!" she captioned two photos of the doctor. "Still on oxygen, but in his own cozy bed surrounded by his 2 dogs. I know so many of you will be relieved to hear."

On Wednesday, after he'd been in the hospital for three days, Fair first shared that he'd been admitted to Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans after being infected with the coronavirus. He previously told TODAY that he believes he caught it during a recent, full flight. He noted that he was wearing a mask and gloves but didn't have protection for his eyes.

The first day in the hospital was "very frightening," Fair said, adding that he had to call himself an ambulance because he couldn't take a full breath. "There's something particularly scary about not being able to get air," he shared. "That part was anxiety (inducing)."

As a leading expert on the coronavirus, Fair has a clear takeaway from his experience for fans and viewers.

"If it can take me down, it can take anyone down," he said. "Your life is more valuable than any kind of short-term discomfort you may have, (even) economic ... Do not put yourself in a situation that instinctively feels dangerous, and you'll know when it does."