Lesley Stahl, the senior-most correspondent on the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” revealed on Sunday night’s broadcast that she was recently hospitalized with Covid-19.
Stahl was able to recover, and she reported a story about the plight of American farmers during the pandemic on Sunday’s broadcast.
Through her longtime role on “60 Minutes” and other CBS News programs, Stahl is a familiar presence in the homes of tens of millions of Americans. So it came as a real shock when she shared her health battle with viewers.
“One of the rules of journalism is ‘don’t become part of the story,’” she said. “But instead of covering the pandemic, I was one of the more-than-one million Americans who did become part of it.”
Stahl pointed out that several other “60 Minutes” staffers also tested positive for the virus. Covid-19 swept through the New York offices of CBS News in March and disrupted all of the network’s news operations.
“One Covid-positive ’60 Minutes’ coworker had almost no symptoms while others had almost every symptom you can imagine. Each case is different,” Stahl said.
She described her own case this way: “After two weeks at home in bed, weak, fighting pneumonia, and really scared, I went to the hospital. I found an overworked, nearly overwhelmed staff. 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 did not specify how long she was hospitalized. She last had a story on “60 Minutes” in the first week of April, but it appeared to be produced before the pandemic upended American life.
Stahl used her Sunday night script to honor the hospital workers whom she called a “valiant army in scrubs and masks.”
“Thanks to them, like so many other patients, I am well now,” she said. “Tonight, we all owe them our gratitude, our admiration — and in some cases, our lives.”