Chicago's 'Tamale Guy' released from hospital after spending 3 weeks in ICU from COVID-19

After more than a month in the hospital battling coronavirus, Chicago’s “Tamale Guy,” Claudio Velez has been released and cleared to go home.

The doctors and nurses and staffers at Rush University Medical Center lined the hallway to salute one of their favorite patients: the Tamale guy, who spent three weeks in intensive care.

"I feel very happy!” said Velez. 

Velez became a huge neighborhood favorite, selling his famous tamales out of a red cooler, which he did for more than 20 years before opening a restaurant in Ukrainian Village right before the coronavirus struck him down. 


Two GoFundMe drives helped pay for his 35 days in the hospital. 

Velez will need home care but when asked when he might get back to the restaurant he answered, "15 days."