BET News, Facebook, CBS News Team for COVID-19 Special

BET News has teamed with Facebook and CBS News to develop a new special on the COVID-19 pandemic set to debut on Wednesday (April 22).

The special, BET News and Facebook Present: COVID-19: Black America’s Fight, will air commercial free on BET, BET HER and streamed on BET and BET News' Facebook pages, the network said. Hosted by CBS News' Gayle King, the one-hour special will look at the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on the African American community, as well as offer accurate information for viewers looking to protect themselves and their families from the epidemic's spread.

Related: BET, Revolt TV Set COVID-19 Themed Specials

The special will feature interviews and appearances from global health official and physician ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, former Obama Education Secretary John B. King Jr., policy advocate Heather McGhee and entrepreneur John Hope Bryant, along with CBS News’ Michelle Miller, Jericka Duncan, Vladimir Duthiers, and Anne Marie Green. 

The special is part of BET's programming initiatives surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, which also includes the April 22 special Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort in partnership with United Way Worldwide.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.