CNN's John King Reveals His MS Diagnosis on Live TV

John King, CNN's chief national correspondent and anchor of 'Inside Politics,' reveals he has had multiple sclerosis since the Clinton administration.

Recommend This Page
CNN's John King Reveals His MS Diagnosis on Live TV
4 Min Read October 21st, 2021

CNN's chief national correspondent, John King, revealed on his show "Inside Politics" that he has multiple sclerosis. 

"It is a secret I have kept for a long time except for a very few people," he explained.

The 58-year-old King decided to tell the world about his health condition due to the debate on the COVID-19 vaccine. He said that he is taking extra safety precautions himself during the pandemic.

King has relapsing-remitting MS, the most common disease course, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. His medication attempts to slow the progression of the disease.

John King

While he says he considers himself "lucky," he still has days where the MS is "very frustrating." He says he is lucky and blessed but is concerned for others not as fortunate as he has been.

"Mine has progressed very slowly due to great medications, thanks to great doctors, but others are not so lucky," King said.

The revelation came out on his CNN show during a conversation about former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his recent passing due to existing health issues and COVID-19. Although Powell was vaccinated, he still contracted COVID-19 due to his age and history of multiple myeloma, a cancer of white blood cells, which harm the body's immune system. King has since discussed his MS on other programs on CNN and other networks.

King used his health history to show the importance of wearing a mask and being vaccinated.

King told ABC's "Good Morning America" that he has had problems since the days of the Clinton administration, he was formally diagnosis several years later.

"Today I'm having a problem with my hands. I have not been able to really have full sensation in my legs since late in the Clinton administration. There are some days this knocks me on my you know what, there are other days it's just a little nagging," King said.

King Experiences Falls and Even Brain Fog Due to MS

He has had falls on occasion and even brain fog, among other symptoms. This week leading up to the election was one of his worst weeks and problems functioning.

John King live on CNN

"I hope nobody noticed it, but election week in America was probably one of my worst weeks last year," King said.

Over One Million People in U.S. with MS – More Diagnosed Every Year

There are over 200,000 new diagnoses of MS every year. MS is a disease affecting the central nervous system where the immune system attacks the myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers, and causes inflammation and lesions. MS makes it harder for the brain to send signals to the body.

The disease affects more women than men and generally is first diagnosed in adults ages 18 to 55. MS is often disabling, requiring the individual to need help with daily living activities. The required care catches many families off guard since health insurance does not cover the necessary custodial care that a person with MS might require as the condition progresses. Younger people often will not own Long-Term Care Insurance, so self-funding care or families step in to provide the necessary help.

MS is unpredictable. The specific symptoms, progress, and severity vary among people with MS. Doctors cannot guess how a person will progress with the disease.  

MS and Dementia

While brain fog can be common for people with MS dementia can become a possibility as well. There are some people with MS that have dementia which with MS is caused by the lesions growing on the brain throughout the disease's progression. Over time, the damage to the nervous system can also cause dementia.

John King joins a list of other celebrities who have lived with MS. Comedian Richard Pryor received an MS diagnosis in 1986. Walter Williams, a founding member of the music group The O'Jays, has been living with MS since 1983. Country music star Clay Walker, actress Selma Blair, actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, talk show, Montel Williams, and Ann Romney (Senator Mitt Romney's spouse) all have MS.

MS Treatment

There are medications available to treat MS, and these medications focus on controlling the immune system and managing symptoms. Plus, physical therapy can be used to help with walking difficulties and muscle stiffness, occupational therapy for tremors, and a cooling vest for heat sensitivity.

Long-term health care for those with more progressed MS is often paid through Medicaid when a person has little or no assets or no Long-Term Care Insurance policy in place. Health insurance and Medicare pay little or nothing toward extended care.

Long-Term Care Insurance is rarely available for purchase after an MS diagnosis. Always check with a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist as there may be some products available in some situations with short-term care products or asset-based products.

Recommend This Page

About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

LTC News Contributor Linda Kople

Linda Kople

Contributor since October 31st, 2017

Editor's Note

There are many reasons people require long-term care services and supports. Health problems from when we were younger can develop over time into a need for long-term health care. Generally, aging and changing health over time increase the risk of needing help with daily living activities or supervision due to cognitive decline. 

Once you develop substantial health or mobility issues, the ability to plan for long-term health care diminishes. Long-term care services are costly and get more expensive over time. Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging is a vital part of an overall retirement plan.

For many people, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is the solution. Owning an LTC policy means owning a solution that offers you access to your choice of quality care services, including at home.

You can safeguard income and assets, reduce family stress and anxiety, and give loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers. But the time to plan is before you retire, ideally in your 40s or 50s when you usually still maintain overall good health.

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator

Start your research by understanding the financial impact of long-term health care on your budget. You can discover the current and future costs of care service where you live and see available tax incentives that may be available - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Other Available Tools

LTC NEWS offers many valuable resources to help in your research. You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.

The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. There are also available tax incentives, and see if these tax incentives are helpful - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Solicit Input from a Specialist

Many insurance companies offer long-term health care solutions, and premiums and plans can vary dramatically. Premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. 

An experienced and licensed Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right company and plan. Be sure the specialist works with the major companies and understands policy design, underwriting, and claims - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS

There is a big audience on LTC NEWS waiting for you to share your knowledge with them. You and your company or website have enormous benefits when you get an article published on LTC NEWS.

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS.

Just write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. Stay on topic with articles on health, aging, caregiving, retirement planning, long-term care, and other topics that interest adults over age 40. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

Reverse Mortgages Can Fund Care or Help You Purchase LTC Insurance

If you - or your loved one needs care now, a reverse mortgage could be an answer. Many people today that have much of their savings invested in their home. 

With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now. 

Learn more now - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner

Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.

There are many marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Looking for Quality Caregivers? Need Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim?

If a loved one already needs in-home care or owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and needs assistance filing the claim, LTC NEWS is here to help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.

Shared Links

LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.

Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email -

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Work With a Trusted Specialist

Get Accurate Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies
man and woman sitting at desk
Connect With a Long-Term Care Specialist

Find Affordable Insurance and the Right Coverage.

LTC News Trusted & Verified
Learn More

Step 1 of 4

Find a Specialist

Get Started Today

Trusted & Verified Specialists

Work with a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist Today

  • Has substantial experience in Long-Term Care Insurance
  • A strong understanding of underwriting, policy design, and claims experience
  • Represents all or most of all the leading insurance companies

LTC News Trusted & Verified

Compare Insurers


Claim this listing

Fill out this short form

Step Number:


Request Listing Edit

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Step Number:


Are you a customer of this business, or are you an employee?