How Noticias Univision Is Guiding Viewers Through the Coronavirus Crisis

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Cover image for  article: How Noticias Univision Is Guiding Viewers Through the Coronavirus Crisis

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the globe, Univision recently announced that it would provide comprehensive, multi-platform coverage on the growing pandemic.  Last week the network launched Diario del Coronavirus (Coronavirus Daily), a one-hour program telecast weekdays at 3 p.m. hosted by Noticias Univision anchors Maria Antonieta Collins and Jorge Ramos that features coverage from across the country, bringing viewers up-to-date developments on the COVID-19 pandemic.  Collins and Ramos remain some of the most trusted reporters and journalists in Hispanic households.  I remember watching Ramos report the news every night alongside his former co-anchor Maria Elena Salinas when I was a kid.

Due to his possible exposure to the virus, Ramos (pictured at top) joined Collins via Skype for the first broadcast.  “This is my fourteenth day in quarantine,” he said in Spanish.  “Tomorrow I’ll be joining you live in the studio.”

The team turned to Janet Rodriguez, who reported from Washington, D.C., on the contradictory statements President Trump made during last week's press briefings regarding Coronavirus and the possibility of a vaccine.  He claimed that a drug used to treat malaria was being developed to treat COVID-19 and would be available “almost immediately.”  FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn quickly refuted the President’s comments, saying that the drug was still in its clinical study and a vaccine will not be ready as quickly as the President claimed, taking as long as one year.

Collins was joined by Univision’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Juan Rivera, who clarified that the drug, known as hydroxychloroquine, is commonly used for malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.  “In this time of crisis, every country is bombarding the internet with premature information,” he warned.  “You have to be careful with how you interpret it.”

New York field correspondent Alex Roland reported from a nearly empty Times Square where the historic neighboring Broadway theaters and non-essential businesses had been directed to close to reduce the spread of the virus.  Correspondent Samuel Toledo reported from Miami in front of a closed and deserted beach, showing empty resorts and shuttered bars and restaurants.  The upcoming 2020 Miami Pride Parade was cancelled just a couple of weeks ago as a precaution and since then the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, tested positive for COVID-19 and has been under quarantine for some time.  Toledo urged younger generations to take the necessary precautions, listen to their local government’s warnings and regulations and do their part in stopping the spread of Coronavirus, particularly because of a rise in cases of people as young as their thirties experiencing severe symptoms and developing pneumonia alongside COVID-19.

In addition to the extensive news coverage, Diario del Coronavirus also features segments with comprehensive and easy-to-follow preventative measures to take during the pandemic, as explained by reporter Esther Provada.  “Above all, remain calm,” she advised in Spanish.  “More than likely, you’ll feel light to mild symptoms.  If you experience any respiratory issues, see a physician and be sure to notify them that you are or feel that you may be infected with Coronavirus.”

Noticias Univision spoke with New Jersey senator Bob Menendez via Skype from Washington, D.C., on the steps taken in the capitol and across the country.  “If we look at China and South Korea, we see how they managed to halt the spread of the virus (through) mandatory social distancing,” said Menendez in Spanish.  (He is one of four Hispanic/Latinx U.S. senators.)  “I know we are a free country and it’s very difficult to make that kind of decision, but it is essential.  We also need to take responsibility for ourselves and our families.  We’re either going to be part of the solution, or part of the statistics.

“Italy, Spain and France have obligated their citizens to stay home,” he added.  “In other countries like Germany and South Korea, they just recommend a quarantine.  We’re following the latter more, still giving people the liberty to leave their homes.

“Is this the best move?” he wondered.  “In this instance, liberty could possibly create death.  The reality is that we need to have mandatory conditions.  If someone in a household is sick, that entire household should be held under quarantine to be sure that there isn’t a spread of the virus.  We look at the beaches in Florida and some people just aren’t taking this seriously.

“If we don’t take this seriously, we’re looking at anywhere from 1.7 to 2.2 million American deaths,” Sen. Menendez warned.  “Social distancing is of utmost importance.”

In addition to the flagship news show, Univision’s hit morning show Despierta América now features a Q&A segment every morning led by Dr. Rivera.  Noticias Univision will also provide hourly news bulletins, daily newsletters and a “Coronavirus Liveblog” featuring the latest news on the outbreak as well as a new video on-demand category, Todo Sobre El Coronavirus (Everything You Need To Know About Coronavirus) available exclusively on Univision and the Univision Now app for users to get the latest, up-to-date information.

Diario del Coronavirus is telecast weekdays at 3 p.m. on Univision and available to watch post-broadcast on Noticias Univision’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and other social media platforms.

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