Coronavirus Impact Reports: Week of May 11

Rachel Hollander | May 15, 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

We’re offering updates via email or mobile on the coronavirus now through the duration of the pandemic. Sign up for email alerts here, or text UPDATES to 30644 for mobile notifications.

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.

May 15: Fake News and Senior Year Cancelled.

Tonight, as the “Plandemic” Pandemic sweeps the digital space, we’ll teach you how to discern what’s true, what’s false and what is manipulative fiction, the next time you go online. The pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on high school and college seniors already, but what will it mean for the future of this graduating class? Columbia University freshman and columnist for Teen Vogue’s ongoing series, “Schooled,” Zach Schermele shares his reporting with correspondent Maddie Orton.

May 14: Congresswoman Grace Meng Discusses the Pandemic Impact on Her Hometown of Queens, NY

Queens has been especially hard hit by the pandemic. Residents have watched the virus tear through working-class immigrant neighborhoods and fuel a surge of hate crimes across the city. But there are signs of hope as more help from Washington could soon be on its way. But what will that relief look like? How will residents recover and heal? And what can finally be done to stop the hate? Congresswoman Grace Meng discusses her fight for residents, from New York to Congress, and reflects on how the pandemic has affected her hometown of Queens, NY.

May 13: “Essential Workers Bill of Rights”| Teachers’ Work is Far From Remote

Last month, New York City Councilman Brad Lander announced the “Essential Worker’s Bill Of Rights”- a package of bills he believes will protect workers on the frontlines, like providing paid sick days. But the legislation is facing pushback from already struggling businesses who say more regulation is the last thing they need. Tonight, CM Lander responds to that criticism, and discusses other key issues facing the city, including his controversial call for a hiring freeze at the NYPD. Next, we take a look at the present state of learning in today’s virtual classrooms and the tireless work teachers are doing to ease the transition. Islah Tauheed, a 2nd grade teacher at Linden Tree Elementary Magnet School for Global Leaders of Innovation and Discovery in the Bronx, is working with students, parents, and fellow staff to mitigate any issues that might arise–breaking down language barriers, accepting assignments at all hours, and providing emotional support.

May 12: Over-policing in a Pandemic

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams discusses the dangers of over-policing in a pandemic: “As a citywide elected leader who comes from the communities that are being disproportionately targeted, who has seen the impact of over-policing for many years magnified in this pandemic, even I was shocked to see the egregious degree of disparity in social distancing enforcement. It was what we had suspected, feared and warned against, only worse. So I was glad to see the administration finally announce some changes we had called for – to hand out more masks and less summonses, to engage civilian agencies as ambassadors, and to expand community outreach. It’s not enough to correct the immediate disparities or the long term inequities – but some progress would still be welcome, if it weren’t so overdue while time is not a luxury we have.”

May 11: Opening May Put Black Americans at Greater COVID-19 Risk

A new study finds that counties with higher black populations account for more than half of all Covid-19 cases and almost 60% of deaths. Two recent CDC studies also reveal that black Americans have higher hospitalization rates than would be expected for their share of the US population. In New York, the death toll among these communities continues to rise statewide, even as stay-at-home restrictions show signs of working. So now, as more than half of states begin to reopen for business, the extent of which the virus is taking a toll on communities of color is a trend likely to continue or to get worse. Tonight we explore the disparate factors that need to be considered as cities weigh the cost of reopening for business with Jocelyn Frye, former Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

May 8: Could the Coronavirus Pandemic Cause a Child Abuse Epidemic?

Following the closure of private schools and public schools moving to remote learning, the city’s nearly 2 million children are now largely confined at home. That extra time sheltered indoors could be problematic for kids who come from abusive households. And as stress from isolation, job loss and financial uncertainty mounts for parents, so does the increased risk of abuse towards their children. Tonight, we talk to Dr. Nina Agrawal, a child abuse pediatrician who evaluates cases for Child Protective Services about her prediction that there will be a surge in cases reported when isolation and social distancing comes to an end and about how to help prevent it before it’s too late.

Amanpour and Company

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

May 14: Former U.S. Acting Surgeon Gen. Reacts to Bright Testimony

Rick Bright, the ousted director of a crucial agency looking for a vaccine for Covid-19, testified today before Congress. He says he was dismissed for blowing the whistle on the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak. To react to his testimony, Christiane Amanpour speaks with Dr. Boris Lushniak, former U.S. Acting Surgeon General.

May 11: What COVID-19 Reveals About the U.S. Food Supply

From restaurants closing their doors to crops rotting in fields, global supply chains are in disarray due to COVID-19. Amanda Little, author of “The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World,” joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the complexities of the food production process.

May 7: When Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Be Ready?

More than 100 potential COVID-19 vaccines are in the works, but how soon can we expect positive results? Dr. Richard Hatchett served as an adviser on pandemics for the White House under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Hatchett is now CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is working to speed up vaccine development.

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. See PBS NewsHour Essential Coronavirus FAQ.

May 14: An economist’s case for more COVID-19 testing

As millions more Americans file for unemployment amid an economy crippled by COVID-19, many states are lifting restrictions and reopening businesses. But is that the correct approach to reviving the U.S. economy? Paul Solman talks to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer about weighing costs and benefits and why “there are no good alternatives” to making COVID-19 testing ubiquitous in the U.S.

May 10: How COVID-19 is Reshaping Hospital Structure and Design

As COVID-19 cases surged in March and April, New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital rapidly transitioned its care spaces to COVID-19 wards in an effort to stave off the virus and protect frontline workers at the epicenter of the outbreak. NewsHour Weekend‘s Christopher Booker reports on how the hospital’s redesign may serve as an example for other medical centers in the future.

May 9: Patchwork of Voting Rules During the Outbreak

With just six months until November’s presidential election, states across the U.S. are trying to determine how to safely collect and count ballots during a national health emergency. And while there is a patchwork of coronavirus election plans, dozens of states allow mail-in ballots or absentee voting. But some states are more restrictive than others.

May 8: Can States Reopen Their Economies Safely?

The U.S. Department of Labor reported more than 20 million jobs were lost in April, driving unemployment to its highest level since the Great Depression. Among some minorities, the economic toll of the pandemic is even more dire. But more businesses across the country are reopening, many with new safety procedures in place to try to reduce the virus’ spread. Will they work?

Firing Line with Margaret Hoover

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

May 8: Sheryl Sandberg & David Miliband

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and International Rescue Committee president David Miliband team up to discuss how COVID-19 will affect women and girls worldwide. They say the pandemic poses a particular threat to girls’ education in the developing world and is increasing sexual violence. They also discuss combating misinformation.

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. Watch Saturdays at 10:30am or stream now.

May 16: Where’s the Beef? America’s Meat Supply Crisis

With just a few companies controlling the vast majority of beef, pork and poultry processing in America, the country’s meat supply chain was already fragile. Enter Covid-19.

May 9: Data Privacy Before and After a Pandemic

Protecting data privacy was a growing concern among experts before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. The pandemic’s arrival has only made that conversation more urgent. Marietje Schaake, Stanford University, joins Ian Bremmer to discuss.

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-19 site with health information, resources for New Yorkers (including rent and housing and more) and business, and announcements:

NYC Workplace Laws and Protections
Employers and employees can visit or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC) for labor law information and more.

New York City Public Schools and Learning
Create a NYC Schools Account to sign up for Department of Education notifications and track your child’s education. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have announced remote learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Read their message to families, here.

NYC Department of Education-specific instructional resources for students in grades Pre-K through 12, messages for families, and more are found at More information about Google classroom, iPads, meals, and other core services are posted at

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 State of New Jersey coronavirus hubis

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 THIRTEEN, WLIW21, WLIW WORLD and NJTV to better serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Let’s Learn NYC!, for children in grades 3K through second grade, offers lessons to supplement remote learning episodes. Weekdays at 11am on THIRTEEN through the end of the school year. See program details and schedule information. You can also livestream episodes at
  • 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.