What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Remembering some of the 50,000 Americans killed by COVID-19

Correction: We reported the wrong age for Vitalina Williams in this piece. She was 59 years old. We regret the error.

We take a moment to honor a few of the tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus. It’s part of our continuing effort to remember the human impact of the pandemic. Judy Woodruff reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Again on this Friday night, we remember a few of the tens of thousands of Americans who have passed away from the virus.

    It's part of our continuing effort to honor the public servants and community leaders we have lost.

    Robbin Hardy became a pastor when she was 25 years old and served as vice president of her church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her children remember a unifier, both in church and as the founder of a mentorship program for girls, where they say she reached more than 1,000 women, and did so in style.

    Hardy was 56 years old.

    Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich of New York's Montefiore Medical Center garnered international acclaim for successfully separating 10 twins conjoined at the head, and advising dozens of other such surgeries. Outside the operating room, the 73-year-old was a bonsai tree enthusiast. He had a library of rare antique medical books and was an avid player of the Australian aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo.

    His friends dubbed him the most interesting man in the world.

    Vitalina Williams loved gardening and cooking with her husband in Salem, Massachusetts, when she wasn't working her two jobs at the local grocery store and Walmart. Bold and principled, Williams was known as the CEO and CFO of her family. She came to the United States from Guatemala in the 1990s, and spoke to her family there on the phone every day.

    She was 59 years old.

    Sixty-one-year-old Quinsey Simpson, a correctional officer at New York's Rikers Island, was known for his calm demeanor, great sense of humor, and hard work ethic. When he contracted COVID-19, Quinsey called in sick for only the second time in his 18 years on the job.

    He was a mentor to the basketball players he coached, neighborhood school kids, and his 6-year-old son, Ayden.

    Karen Ketcher dedicated her career to serving Native American tribes in her state of Oklahoma and across the country. Karen loved to sew, including memorable prom and wedding dresses, and spent all of her free time with her family, her grandkids and great grandkids.

    In Tahlequah's Cherokee Nation, she was known as everyone's Granny Karen for loving everyone in the community like they were her own.

    She was 70 years old.

    And we honor each one of them. They are a loss to their loved ones. And our condolences to everyone.

Listen to this Segment

The Latest