Former CPS CEO, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, family battling COVID-19

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan revealed he and his family are fighting COVID-19.

"You go from one day feeling fine to the next day like getting hit by a truck. Absolutely flat," Duncan described.


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Duncan served as CPS CEO for seven years before President Barack Obama appointed him to lead the U.S. Department of Education.

The former professional basketball player said he had been working out regularly, making sure to stay in shape so his body would be prepared in the event he was exposed to the virus. He said his entire family has been diagnosed with COVID-19 more than a week ago, and they have no idea how they got it.

"We just don't know. It's so prevalent now in Chicago and across the country," he said. "Like a tidal wave, a tsunami, and we just got caught in it."


Duncan tweeted out a message over the weekend, saying, "I so appreciate everyone's good wishes! How did we catch it? I don't know. We wore masks. We socially distanced. We avoided crowds. We haven't had people in our house. And I'm sure whoever gave it to us felt they did the same. COVID is in the air now - in almost every room you enter."

As secretary of education, he was credited with improving underperforming schools around the country. Before that, during his tenure at CPS, he improved student test scores and increased graduation rates. He said he and his family seem to have survived the worst of the virus, and are improving.

"Relative to so many others dealing with severe illness and death our family is fortunate," he said.
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