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'It’s like nothing else’: Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her husband, a Baltimore law professor, discuss his coronavirus recovery

John Bessler, a University of Baltimore law professor, and his wife, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, spoke in a TV interview Tuesday night with NBC Nightly News after his battle with the coronavirus that landed him in the hospital.

Bessler, 52, tested positive March 23 but told NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk that he started feeling sick the morning of March 12.

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The day before he fell ill, he told NBC, he taught three classes and then it “just suddenly hit me and I had a fever, and that fever just lasted for days and days."

It took six days for Bessler to receive his positive coronavirus test results. Klobuchar said to NBC that she did not get tested because she had been away from her husband for two weeks, putting her outside the 14-day window for contracting the virus.

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Bessler started teaching at the University of Baltimore’s law school in 2009, a few years after his wife was elected to her first term in the Senate in 2006. He also advised Klobuchar during her unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination during the past year.

Klobuchar told NBC she was in Washington, D.C., working on the coronavirus stimulus package and stayed in a different location from her husband, who self-quarantined.

The senator said she called her husband every few hours to help keep track of his temperature. Bessler told NBC, he drove to the emergency room after he threw up blood.

Bessler said he called ahead and “they actually brought me in through a door in the kind of a garage area, so I wouldn’t have to be in the main waiting area.”

X-rays showed Bessler had developed pneumonia, which is a known complication of COVID-19, and tests showed he had low oxygen, according to NBC.

As her husband was in the hospital, Klobuchar was on Capitol Hill helping negotiate the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill.

“I keep telling my colleagues this is really serious,” said Klobuchar, who dropped out the presidential race last month. “When this happens in your family or to your friends, it’s like nothing else.”

The senator said she called the hospital to receive updates on her husband as often as she could, and said she is thankful he ended up healthy. Klobachar said she “can’t even imagine those families where they hear the opposite news.”

“There are people where it turns for the worse, and they’re on ventilators, or they don’t make it, and it’s a heartbreaking thing, and it’s why we have to invest in testing and do everything to make up for the mistakes that were made at the beginning, where a country was not prepared for this," Klobachar said.

Bessler urged people to follow government guidelines and pay attention to COVID-19 because it can “happen to anybody.”

There are 4,371 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Maryland and more than 100 deaths. There are almost 400,000 positive cases across the United States and nearly 13,000 deaths.

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