Coronavirus Impact Reports: Week April 13

Christina Knight | April 17, 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.

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Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

Firing Line is broadcast Fridays at 8:30pm and streams live.

Friday, April 17: Mark Cuban

Billionaire Mark Cuban discusses advising President Trump as a member of his new group on reopening the U.S. economy. Cuban defends the president as the cheerleader-in-chief but dismisses the idea of setting a date now to reopen. The “Shark Tank” investor discusses relief for small businesses, tackling unemployment, and how he would address income inequality.

MetroFocus Interviews

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus is on weeknights at 6pm on broadcast (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestream; listen weeknights on 88.3 WPPB at 11pm.

Tonight, April 17: Contact Tracing | Dr. Crystal Watson

Health officials have zeroed in on contact tracing as a key tool that could help begin a return to normal life. How does it work? If social distancing is viewed as a mass quarantine, then in contrast, contact tracing of positive cases allows a more targeted group of people to quarantine while the rest of society begins to open up. But is it feasible for the tri-state and how can it safely be set into motion? For the answer, we turn to Dr. Crystal Watson, a senior scholar and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who’s just published a report that outlines a vision for how to accomplish contact tracing.

April 16: Center for Independence of the Disabled New York | The Street Vendor Project

For people who are disabled and have a greater need for assistance in their everyday lives, social distancing and self-isolation may be impossible. What should people with disabilities and those who care for them do to safely make it through the pandemic? Susan Dooha, Executive Director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York gives us more information. The economic relief plan will was set up to help millions of American small businesses affected by the pandemic, provided they meet certain requirements. Some advocates say those requirements have put street vendors at risk of losing it all. For this largely immigrant group of business owners, empty streets equals empty wallets. Mohamed Attia, Executive Director of The Street Vendor Project, tells us how the project is supporting their fellow New Yorkers who are ineligible and in great need.

April 15: COVID Corridor | Retail Crisis

Ben Max, Executive Editor, Gotham Gazette talks us through the plan to reopen states of the Northeast corridor. As a joint task force, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Delaware will each name a public health official, an economic development official and the chief of staff for each governor who will share information, resources and intelligence about an economic path forward. Ted Portrikus, President & CEO of the Retail Council of New York State joins us for a look at the future of shopping after COVID-19. Taking a page from the restaurant industry, the council has created an online directory for independently operated stores to help retailers gain sales amid pandemic restrictions.

April 14: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams | NYC’s Hardest Hit Communities

New York City is stepping up its response to help New Yorkers hardest hit by the coronavirus with a new $10 million ad campaign to get information to minority communities. Across America, black and Hispanic people suffer disproportionately from poverty, poor health care and chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and asthma – resulting in sicker compromised patients entering ERs. In NYC, new data shows COVID-19 is twice as deadly for blacks and Latinos as compared to white New Yorkers. Is Mayor de Blasio doing enough to address these deadly findings? Brooklyn Borough President and 2021 mayoral contender Eric Adams weighs in on the response.

April 13: COVID-19 Impact on Farming

Americans are sheltering at home and stocking up on non-perishable foods and essentials so as to minimize trips outside. But what effect is this ‘new normal’ having on farming? Nearly all of New York’s farms are small, independent and family-owned. How are they adjusting their business model in a world where their biggest clients, like schools, and restaurants, are either closed or ordering far less? NY Farm Bureau’s Public Affairs Manager Steve Ammerman joins us to tell us more.

April 10: NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson | Homeless in Pandemic

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson joins us for a wide-ranging interview on the difficulties facing New York City that he’s most concerned about, as well as an issue he says is of the utmost importance: how to reopen the economy. The City investigative reporter Greg Smith joins us with an eye-opening report detailing the efforts shelters have taken to contain the spread and why they fell so disastrously short.

PBS NewsHour Reports

PBS NewsHour is broadcast weeknights at 7pm and weekends at 6pm and streams live. Listen to half-hour broadcasts on 88.3 WPPB weeknights at 6pm.

April 15: How the Congressional Relief Bill Could Affect You

Last month, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief package in order to provide relief to some Americans impacted by the virus. The package is the largest government recovery measure in U.S. history, in both total dollars and dollars per capita. But, what could this relief bill mean for you and your family? And how does this all fit into the context of the 2020 race for the White House? PBS NewsHour’s senior political reporter Dan Bush and correspondent Lisa Desjardins take a closer look.

April 12: How Apple and Google Plan to Track COVID-19 Cases

Recently, Apple and Google announced that both iOS and Android phones will be able to work together to send and receive signals from one another that may help public health officials trace your contacts with friends and with strangers just by how close your phones were. To help explain how this works is Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at MIT’s Media Lab. He and his team, which includes epidemiologists, engineers, data scientists and privacy advocates, already have an app you can download today at the Safe Paths Project. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

Amanpour and Company

Amanpour and Company is on Monday – Friday at 11pm; repeats at 4pm. Watch broadcast or livestream.

April 13: Dr. Robert Gallo, Director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

People around the world are desperate for a vaccine, a cure, treatment, testing – anything that could offer some hope. Dr Robert Gallo is a world-renowned virologist who in 1984 helped discover HIV and how it causes AIDS. Now he is turning to the fight against coronavirus, leading an initiative to repurpose the oral polio vaccine for a short-term treatment. He believes it could provide a couple of months of immunity, buying time for anyone infected to develop the antibodies to fight it. It’s still awaiting FDA approval, but Dr. Gallo believes it could offer a little hope, as he explains to Contributor Walter Isaacson in an exclusive interview.

April 10: U.S. House Democrat Katie Porter | “Americans Need Straight Answers”

California’s Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter has gained a lot of attention for doing the math and showing her conclusions to those in power. Recently, she asked CDC Director Robert Redfield how much it would cost an American to get tested for COVID-19. In a feisty exchange that went viral, she got a pledge from him: that testing would be free for every American. Contributor Michel Martin asks Rep. Porter about that, and what she makes of the government’s handling of this crisis so far.

GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

Ian Bremmer, a renowned political scientist, entrepreneur and bestselling author, shares his perspective on recent global events and interviews the world leaders, experts and newsmakers shaping today’s international politics. Watch Saturdays at 10:30am or stream now.

Saturday, April 18: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH

Just a few weeks before China first reported cases of what would later become known as Covid-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci came on our show to discuss pandemics. He was clear about one thing: we were not prepared. Today, we look back at that conversation.

April 13: China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai

Ian Bremmer interviews Cui Tiankai, China’s top diplomat in the United States, on a wide range of topics including accusations that China has underreported COVID-19 fatalities, his nation’s decision to expel journalists from major U.S. publications, and China’s emerging role in global aid and relief efforts.

Hotlines and Information

Stay-in-the-know about what’s on-air and online at THIRTEEN. Sign-up for free weekly eNewsletters, including on coronavirus reports.

Government Sites and Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page includes links to national case reporting, symptom information, advisories by health condition and occupation, and more.

New York City

For text updates from New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with helpful behavior tips and news related to the coronavirus. Text COVIDESP to 692-692 for updates in Spanish.

NYC’s official COVID site with information from the City and Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Sick Leave Questions
Employers and employees can visit 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. The Mayor and Chancellor have announced remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Read their message to families, here.

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

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

New York State

NY State Hotline: 888-364-3065
For all New York State updates, and announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo, see the state COVID site.

The New York State Department of Health posts a daily COVID 19 case tally by county.

New Jersey

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

Media and Independent Sources

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

NJTV News and NJ Spotlight provide daily reporting on the coronavirus in New Jersey, as well as newsletters.

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.

Remote Learning Resources from WNET Education

Programs for remote learning air on WLIW21, WLIW WORLD and NJTV to better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • WORLD At Home Learning for grades 6-12 airs Monday-Friday from 12 noon – 5 p.m. See program details and schedule information for science, history and English language arts programming.
  • WLIW21 at Home Learning for K-12 airs Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. -4 p.m., and focuses on all major school subjects, drawing from WNET’s vast archive of PBS and locally produced content. See schedule.
  • NJTV Learning Live airs weekdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., featuring on-air classes taught by some of New Jersey’s finest public school teachers. NJTV’s on-air classroom lessons are livestreamed and archived on

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