’60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl reveals brutal bout with coronavirus that landed her in hospital

Tribune Content Agency

Veteran CBS News and “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl revealed Sunday that she had been hospitalized for a week with COVID-19 — but is now fully recovered and back at work.

Staying true to the journalistic credo to never become part of the story, the 78-year-old newswoman divulged her personal brush with the pandemic in a low-key announcement at the very end of the hourlong broadcast.

“One of the rules of journalism is, ‘Don’t become part of the story,’ ” Stahl said. “But instead of covering the pandemic, I was one of the more than 1 million Americans who did become part of it.”

Colleagues also had bouts of the disease that is menacing the planet and decimating economies, with the gamut of symptoms ranging from those who “had almost no symptoms,” to those who “had almost every symptom you can imagine,” Stahl said. “Each case is different.”

She briefly described being bedridden at home with pneumonia for two weeks, “really scared,” then going to the hospital to encounter “an overworked, nearly overwhelmed staff,” she said, “every one of them kind, sympathetic, gentle and caring from the moment I arrived until the moment days later when I was wheeled out through a gauntlet of cheering medical workers. In the face of so much death, they celebrate their triumphs.”

Stahl lauded the staff at the hospital, which she and CBS declined to name.

“This valiant army in scrubs and masks was not just doing a job,” Stahl said. “They were fulfilling a mission, answering the call. Thanks to them, like so many other patients, I am well now. Tonight, we all owe them our gratitude, our admiration — and in some cases, our lives.”

Stahl has been at “60 Minutes” since 1991 and is considered the dean of correspondents at the newsmagazine, according to The Associated Press. Before joining the broadcast, she moderated “Face the Nation” and was a Washington correspondent. She has been with the network since 1971, AP said.

Stahl is the latest and arguably the most prominent TV anchor to be stricken with the virus, which is often mild or asymptomatic but can be brutal and even fatal. Chris Cuomo and Brooke Baldwin of CNN were taken ill, as has ABC “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos, though he barely felt it at all.

By Sunday evening, the virus had infected a confirmed 3.5 million people worldwide, and killed 247,326 of them — though experts strongly suspect that to be much less than the actual total.


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