Stories by Alexandra Silets

US Rep. Robin Kelly on COVID-19 Health Disparities, Stimulus Funds

U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. (WTTW News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit African American and Hispanic and Latino communities especially hard in terms of infection and death. We speak with U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly about health disparities, funding and more.

The Week in Review: COVID-19 Cases Soar As Testing Increases

(WTTW News)

Illinois records more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, which officials attribute to an increase in testing. McCormick Place is winding down operations as an alternate care site. And as a new modified stay-at-home order begins, hundreds protest.

The Week in Review: Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through May 30

A quiet lakefront in Chicago on March 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois sets a new record of confirmed COVID-19 cases as testing capacity expands. Gov. J.B. Pritzker extends the stay-at-home order until May 30 with some modifications. And Chicago aldermen narrowly approve emergency powers for Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

Cook County Medical Examiner Prepares for a Surge in COVID-19 Deaths

(WTTW News)

About 70% of Illinois’ COVID-19 deaths are in Cook County. As a result of the pandemic, the medical examiner’s office opened an off-site morgue to deal with a surge in deaths.

What’s Being Done to Address COVID-19 at Nursing Homes in Illinois

(sabinevanerp / Pixabay)

The statistics are sobering. Data shows that nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in Illinois are tied to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. 

The Week in Review: Pritzker Suspends In-Person Learning for Rest of Year

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker closes schools for in-person learning for the rest of the year to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as cases and deaths continue to climb. Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fines the company behind the Crawford Power Plant implosion. 

After Halting WHO Funding, Trump Comes Under Fire Yet Again

President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing on April 8, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

President Donald Trump has halted funding to the World Health Organization until a review can be conducted of its pandemic response. U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Jan Schakowsky weigh in on that and other recent moves by Trump.

Pandemic Changes Rituals of Life — and Death

(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Dealing with loved ones dying in normal times can be difficult enough. But during this global health crisis, a host of new challenges arise as physical distancing forces families apart during final bedside moments.

The Week in Review: Officials Hope Illinois is Flattening the Curve

An overcrowded hospital in Brooklyn deals with COVID-19 cases. (WTTW News via CNN)

While the COVID-19 death toll is nearing 600 in Illinois, officials are hopeful that the state is starting to flatten the curve, but leaders are urging residents to celebrate the Easter holiday from home.

Celebrating Easter and Passover During the Pandemic

A Seder dinner service. (mollyjade / Flickr)

Will the holidays be vastly different during the stay-at-home order? A local rabbi and pastor talk about how they are ministering during this strange time.

Illinois Congressmen React to Trump’s Ouster of COVID-19 Stimulus Watchdog

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus pandemic during a press briefing Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump fired Glenn Fine, chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, whose job was to oversee the administration of trillions of dollars in federal funding. We get reaction from three Illinois congressmen.

The Week in Review: COVID-19 Cases Soar as McCormick Place Facility Opens

Illinois saw its largest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases on Friday, with an additional 1,209 people testing positive for the virus. A growing number of Chicago cases prompts the creation of a field hospital at McCormick Place.

A Look at the Ethical Dilemmas Facing Hospitals as Virus Cases Rise

(WTTW News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust a host of ethical dilemmas out of the classroom and into emergency rooms and hospitals. Is it ethical to ask providers to reuse masks? Or to prioritize testing? Or to ration ventilators? We speak with two doctors on the front lines.

How Health Care Providers Are Preparing for COVID-19 Peak in Illinois

(Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash)

The Chicago Medical Society says that intensive care units in Chicago are full as of Monday. But experts say a peak in cases is still two to three weeks away. 

The Week in Review: Pandemic Shutters Chicago Lakefront, Parks

(WTTW News)

The latest coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. Lakefront and park closures — what might be next? And what the $2 trillion economic rescue package means for the state budget — and your wallet.

Will a Government Bailout Resurrect the Airline Industry?

(WTTW News)

The struggling airline industry will get a $32 billion infusion as part of the $2 trillion congressional stimulus bill. But will it be enough to resurrect an industry that is one of the most essential for the economy?

Tips for Dealing with High Anxiety in the Age of COVID-19

 (Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash)

The new coronavirus has upended lives across the globe. We take a look at the mental toll of social distancing, isolation and the fear of illness – and ways to cope.

Kim Foxx Talks Primary Win, Moving Beyond Smollett Case

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx came away the winner in Tuesday’s primary against three Democratic challengers. She joins us in discussion.

Closures, Quarantines: Officials Aim to Halt Spread of COVID-19

(WTTW News)

Restaurants have closed for dine-in business. Schools are shuttered. Gatherings should be limited. How big a difference will these rules make? We speak with an infectious disease doctor about the new recommendations.

Candidate Forum: Kim Foxx Faces 3 Primary Challengers in State’s Attorney Race

Democratic candidates for Cook County state’s attorney, from left: incumbent Kim Foxx, Bill Conway, Donna More and Bob Fioretti appear on a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum. (WTTW News)

Political ads have been flooding the airways for months in the race for Cook County state’s attorney. And they have been getting increasingly nasty.

Stocks Slide Over Oil War and Coronavirus Fears

The closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, March 9, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

Fears over the coronavirus and an oil price war sank the Dow Jones Industrial on Monday, while the S&P 500 had its worst day since 2008.

How SARS Research is Helping Scientists Explore Treatment for Coronavirus

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

A team of doctors and researchers based in Chicago has discovered that a protein in the coronavirus could be treated with drugs that had been in development for SARS. We get an update on their work.

Coronavirus Rattles Markets: What it Means for the Economy

Global stock markets lost more than $3 trillion in value this week as investors fled amid growing concerns of a coronavirus pandemic. So what’s the outlook for the U.S. economy?

‘Arguing with Zombies’: Paul Krugman on Economic Ideas That Won’t Die

Paul Krugman appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (WTTW News)

A conversation with with the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times opinion columnist about his new book, “Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.”

Coalition Works Toward 20% Reduction in Chicago Gun Violence

(WTTW News)

What’s behind the spike in gun violence this year? And what can be done to stanch it? As part of our WTTW Firsthand initiative, we take a closer look at the problem – and possible solutions.