Coronavirus Experts and Reporting

April 3, 2020
An image of Times Square from PBS NewsHour Weekend, March 22, 2020.

An image of Times Square from PBS NewsHour Weekend, March 22, 2020.

THIRTEEN and PBS offer regular, in-depth reporting on the coronavirus to help everyone understand the disease and emergency response measures, and the behaviors that are best for your – and others’ – health. Here is the latest from infectious disease doctors, medical professionals, officials and journalists who cover coronavirus news. This page will be updated as reporting continues.

Click for Hotlines and Information Sources

Coronavirus News and Response

Tonight on MetroFocus, April 3: William Goetzmann, Yale School of Management Professor, puts your financial fears into historical perspective while examining the prospects for recovery. Stocks have suffered major losses unrivaled since 2008 and the Dow has seen its worst decline since 1987 – the year of the Black Monday stock market crash. Then, some nature getaways have closed due to overcrowding during a time of social distancing, like the Monhonk Preserve in Ulster County. Elizabeth Long, Mohonk Preserve Director of Conservation Science, share the numerous ways you can still enjoy nature- from home.

See nightly MetroFocus schedule for THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV. Hear MetroFocus every weeknight at 11 p.m. on WPPB 88.3 FM — the NPR station newly acquired by WNET.

MetroFocus: Thursday, April 2


The first death in Suffolk county was reported March 16. Today, the total number of fatalities is 53 and the total number of cases is nearing 7,000. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone discusses the county’s state of emergency and announces they are “racing to be prepared’ for the peak of the outbreak, anticipated in the next few weeks. See full episode that includes how truckers and drivers are keeping us supplied.

MetroFocus: Wednesday, April 1


MetroFocus: NYPD Chief Terence Monahan discusses police efforts to serve and protect the public and themselves from the spread of the scourge. He tells us about the “backup plan” to continue protecting the city, should many of his brothers in blue be lost to the virus. Plus, the Chief tells us about the #1 crime happening right now in NYC, during the lockdown.

MetroFocus: Tuesday, March 31


Republican State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis discusses the president’s one month extension of social distancing and other decisions. Then, a look at the city’s first responders and essential workers who are falling victim to the pandemic. Plus, the citywide plan to release prisoners to protect them and staff from the spread of the virus.

MetroFocus: Monday, March 30


New York Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, representing Lower Manhattan, talks about the troubling rise in racist incidents against the Asian American community since the coronavirus outbreak.

PBS NewsHour Weekend, Sunday, March 29


Jenny Schuetz, a housing economist at the Brookings Institution discusses how the outbreak’s economic disruption is impacting renters. See more segments, including the complications of the virus for incarcerated people, and welcoming a new baby in trying times in the full episode.

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover: Tom Frieden, Friday, March 27


Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden discusses the origins of the coronavirus, the current measures to fight it, and where he sees the pandemic headed. He also discusses how the United States can be better prepared to handle future microbial threats.Firing Line with Margaret Hoover airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

MetroFocus: Friday, March 27


The link between COVID-19 and animals is discussed by Dr. Christian Walzer, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Chief Global Veterinarian; getting help with bills during the crisis; Con Edison has stopped all meter reading and smart meter installation to protect customers and employees during the pandemic, and are crafting a plan for emergency preparedness: more from Michael Clendenin, Con Edison.

MetroFocus: Thursday, March 26


NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, who forecasts NYC may suffer a $4.8 to $6 billion loss in tax revenue due to the coronavirus. And Long Island’s surge in cases of COVID-19, with South Hampton Village mayor Jesse Warren.

MetroFocus: Wednesday, March 25


Guests: Stephen Nessen, WNYC Transportation Reporter on the Covid-19 effect on New York infrastructure and local public transportation; and Dr. Wendy Suzuki, NYU Professor of Neural Science and Psychology, who explains the neural connection between brain and body and the process that happens when the two are engaged.

Amanpour and Company: Amazon Workers, Wednesday, March 25; Thursday, March 26 at 4 p.m.


Amazon is raising wages and bringing on 100,000 new employees in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, joins Christiane to discuss the company’s treatment of workers in the midst of the pandemic. See the full interview and full episode, Thursday, March 26 at 4 p.m. or stream now.

MetroFocus: Tuesday, March 24


New York Magazine business columnist Josh Barro on the government’s role in a financial safety net; coping with isolation is addressed by Rabbi Mark Wildes, founder and director of The Manhattan Jewish Experience. See nightly MetroFocus schedule for THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV.

MetroFocus: New York State Healthcare, Monday, March 23


Guest New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi helped pass paid sick leave legislation that will provide benefits to public and private employees who are forced to quarantine due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. A majority of workers who are either sick, laid off or forced to stay home will be able to be paid for at least two weeks. The freshman is also co-sponsoring the New York Health Act.

Amanpour and Company: COVID-19 Research, Thursday, March 19


World-renowned doctor and researcher Dr. David Ho, based at Columbia University, is on the frontlines of the crisis. In the 1990s, he invented the AIDS cocktail, a drug strategy recognized as a turning point in the fight against the disease. Now he’s racing to battle COVID-19, leading four teams working to find a treatment. He explains the lessons we should have learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak.

PBS NewsHour Weekend, Sunday, March 22


Researchers at John Hopkins are tracking the coronavirus with an interactive map and spotting trends. See more segments and the full episode.

PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday, March 21


Dr. Alexis Langsfeld, a New York City hospital emergency room doctor describes her experience of the coronavirus crisis. See more segments and the full episode.

Confronting the Coronavirus: A PBS NewsHour Special, Thursday, March 19 at 8pm.


The primetime special will focus on health precautions for individuals and the public-at-large as well as the pandemic’s economic impact in both the United States and globally. Anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff, the special will include interviews with officials and dispatches from across the globe; reporting from NewsHour’s bench of special correspondents throughout the world; and a virtual town hall with curated questions from people across America, to be moderated by NewsHour correspondents Amna Nawaz and William Brangham. Tune-in to broadcast or stream.

MetroFocus: Thursday, March 19


NYC Councilmember Ritchie Torres has tested positive for COVID-19. The 32-year-old will share his experience and whether he thinks the city is doing enough to combat and contain the spread of the virus.

See MetroFocus schedule for THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV.

MetroFocus: Wednesday, March 18


Hosts and guests of MetroFocus are practicing social distancing and are managing their interviews from their homes. In the segment above, Beth Shapiro, executive director of CityMeals on Wheels, discusses the challenges of the designated emergency responder for the city’s seniors. CityMeals has delivered 45,000 emergency meals to older New Yorkers so far, and are preparing an additional 200,000 meals now, to be distributed by senior centers across the city. See the full episode in which Jeff Coltin, senior reporter for CITY & STATE NY, explains the background to the school closures, the postponement of the Queens election and other decisions by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Amanpour and Company, Monday, March 16

Christiane Amanpour is joined by New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot for an update on the coronavirus crisis. Stream the full episode now, which also features Dr. Sonia Adesara of the British National Health Service in the United Kingdom; Harvard Kennedy school professor Jason Furman was a top economic advisor to President Barack Obama during the last financial meltdown in 2008; and David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Obama, who talks about how Covid-19 has reshaped the political race of 2020.

PBS NewsHour Weekend: Saturday, March 14


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has deployed the National Guard and created a one-mile containment zone around the town of New Rochelle, just north of New York City, where at least 158 cases of COVID-19 have been reported. And on Friday, the state launched its first drive-thru mobile testing facility in the region.

PBS NewsHour Weekend airs Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. on THIRTEEN and at 6:30 p.m. on WLIW21.

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover: Jeh Johnson, Friday, March 13


Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson discusses the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus. Johnson, who was DHS Secretary during the 2014 Ebola crisis, talks about communicating with the public during times of anxiety. Firing Line with Margaret Hoover airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m.

PBS NewsHour: Thursday, March 12


Dr. Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the “deeply disappointing” U.S. management of the outbreak. See Thursday’s full episode, which includes news of Capitol Hill lawmakers’ efforts to pass a multi-billion dollar novel coronavirus aid package.

PBS NewsHour Special: President Trump’s Announcement, Wednesday, March 11


Watch President Trump’s entire remarks from Wednesday evening, when he addressed the nation about the novel coronavirus and announced the suspension of travel from Europe as well as economic relief measures. PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, Lisa Desjardins and Judy Woodruff discuss Trump’s remarks and what happens next.

MetroFocus: Wednesday, March 11


The latest details on the coronavirus outbreak, the quarantines, the closures, and what the city and state are doing to protect you. Also, medical experts from NYU Langone say where you live can dictate your well-being. They share their findings on how certain social factors can be detrimental to your health.

MetroFocus: Tuesday, March 10


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announces a one-mile containment center around New Rochelle, NY. Mayor de Blasio addresses the struggle to get Coronavirus test kits. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, details the latest on the timeline for a vaccine. Dr. Bob Arnot returns with new safety tips. NJTV takes us into the science behind coronavirus.

MetroFocus: Monday, March 9


Veteran journalist and medical expert Dr. Bob Arnot joined MetroFocus to report the latest on confusion surrounding the coronavirus, and New York City and New York State’s response it. One tip he shares: the World Health Organization says the “elbow bump” is not a safe alternative to a handshake. The social distance we should maintain from each other needs to be further apart than an elbow bump allows. See his safety tips on MetroFocus.

Hotlines and Information


Stay-in-the-know about what’s on-air and online at THIRTEEN. Sign-up for free weekly eNewsletters, including on coranavirus reports.
NYC: 311
For text updates from New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments about the coronavirus. Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

Check NYC updates online at www.nyc.gov/coronavirus.

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
See New York State updates here.

The New York State Department of Health posts a daily tally by county for the entire state

Covid19.NYC is an independent website offering public health information to New Yorkers, aimed at centralizing and aggregating info from a range of medical authorities. All information is sourced from WHO, CDC, NYS Department of Health and NYC Department of Health websites and guidelines.

NJ State Hotline: 1-800-962-1253
Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive text updates.
The official coronavirus hub from the state of New Jersey is covid19.nj.gov. See daily reporting from NJTV News and NJ Spotlight here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC updating its Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page with number of U.S. cases regularly at noon, Mondays through Fridays. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.

The New York Times is providing free access to its most important updates and most useful guidance on the coronavirus.

Sick Leave Questions
Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for more information.

New York City Public Schools and Learning
The Chancellor has asked all families to sign up for an NYC Schools Account if they have not already done so.

NYCDOE-specific instructional resources in English for students in grades Pre-K through 12 are currently available online at schools.nyc.gov/learnathome. More information about remote learning, meals, and other core services will be posted at schools.nyc.gov.

From noon to 5 p.m. each day, WNET public media channel WLIW World offers high-quality PBS content that is aligned with classroom curricula.  Learn more.

Help keep students learning at home with tools for parents and eduators on WNET’s Education site. All resources are free and standards-aligned.

Housing Assistance
NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal.

The HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office at 100 Gold Street is closed until at least March 30, but the HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. New Yorkers should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov.

Most At-Risk

The CDC recommends that people who are over 60 or have health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease stock up on medications, household items and groceries to stay at home “for a period of time.” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, cited the World Health Organization’s research that has found that the odds of developing COVID-19 increase with age, starting at age 60. The coronavirus is especially deadly for people over 80.

The City of New York asks those over 50 to take extra precautions.