CNN Anchor Erin Burnett Cries During Interview With Coronavirus Victim's Widow

It's been a hard few weeks for many Americans, including our reporters covering the heartbreaking stories of loss amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that has to date claimed more than 64,549 lives worldwide and 8,376 in the United States. During Friday night's broadcast of CNN's Erin Burnett, the anchor of the eponymous show, OutFront, had difficulty getting through an interview with a woman who recently lost her husband to COVID-19, the viral respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

During the segment, New York native, Maura Lewinger of Queens shared her harrowing story about losing her husband, Joseph, and the moment of saying goodbye over FaceTime as he died. "They put him on a ventilator in the morning and transferred him to ICU, then I spoke to that nurse and he was very reassuring and I asked him to play music and he did," Lewinger said, before admitting that things took a turn for the worse shortly after.

Following another FaceTime session, Lewinger reveals they had received word from doctors who were growing "concerned" with his condition. She shared that the medical team "had thrown the kitchen sink at him," but were "afraid he doesn't have any more time."

During their final FaceTime goodbyes, Lewinger shares how she "thanked him for being the most amazing husband and for making [her] feel so cherished and loved every single day." She later tells Burnett she was "with him when he passed."

As Burnett attempted to ask Lewinger another question, she suddenly became overcome with her grief around the 10:20 mark, seen in video shared by the news network. "I think your love for him….," Burnett began, later placing her head in her hands and weeping before quickly recovering.

"Sorry, made me cry… it's a beautiful thing. But I also wanted everyone to know the love that your community had for your husband,” Burnett finally said.

Burnett is not the only anchor to have shown emotion while on air during the coverage for the coronavirus. Last week, Hoda Kotb was caught crying during the TODAY Show after speaking with New Orleans Saints player, Drew Brees after he donated $5 million to fight COVID-19 in Louisiana.

Kotb spoke with ET during an exclusive interview on Friday, where she explained how she wished she hadn't reached her breaking point on-air, but understands how everyone reaches their breaking point.

"I think everybody has their breaking point somewhere," Kotb said. "Sometimes you have it in the bathroom at home or you have it in the car and your kids are inside. I mean, mine probably was at the least appropriate place it could have been but I think there was something about his kindness and generosity in that moment.

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"And I think when he said, like, as a big, strong football player, when I said, 'I love you, Drew,' — 'cause I just say that usually — and he said, 'I love you.' Something about all of it just kind of came together and I feel like we're all on the edge. And I think we all need to pick a place. I wish it hadn't been this place, but I think we all need to have a place where we can all let the dam break wherever that place happens to be."

Photo credit: CNN / YouTube