Have a question about COVID-19? Email the question, your name, and your city to our experts at coronaquestions@nexstar.tv to have it answered on “Coronavirus House Calls.” Watch the next episode on Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. CT!

CBS 42’s Art Franklin

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the death toll from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rise in the U.S., we’re looking past statistics. With parts of the country reopening, confusion surrounds our ever-evolving situation. We’re here to talk about your concerns, differentiate between fact and fiction, and move from fear to hope as we navigate this “new normal” together.

[WATCH: Coronavirus House Calls | April 25-26]

That’s why we’ve assembled a panel of the nation’s top doctors, along with our financial expert, to answer your biggest questions about COVID-19 in the Nexstar digital original, “Coronavirus House Calls,” hosted by Emmy award-winning CBS 42 Anchor Art Franklin.

Some of the questions addressed this weekend include:

What does Remdesivir mean for COVID-19 treatment going forward? Where’s my stimulus check? What’s it like to be a frontline healthcare worker? How can I offer emotional support to healthcare workers? What’s the best way to spend and save money during the pandemic? Will training dogs to sniff out COVID-19 combat testing shortages? Are medical staff receiving special training related to COVID-19? Are schools ramping up counseling services? Is now a good time to buy stocks? Is it too soon to reopen America? Are decisions to reopen states backed by data? What should I do if I haven’t heard back on my unemployment application? What should I do if I think a want a divorce? Does wearing a mask protect you and others equally? Should the U.S. be exporting PPE? How does one build up an emergency fund during an emergency? Why are smokers being hospitalized less often from the coronavirus? How many COVID-19 patients put on ventilators die in the U.S.? Is now a good time to buy or sell a house? Is hydroxychloroquine still being touted as a possible COVID-19 treatment? How can seniors avoid falling victim to coronavirus scams? When will hospitals allow visitors again?

If you have a fever or cough, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. Keep track of your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), get medical attention right away.


Michael Saag, MD (Birmingham, AL)
Infectious disease specialist, renowned HIV/AIDS researcher

Dr. Saag received a B.S. in chemistry with honors in 1977 from Tulane University, earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Louisville, and completed his residency and infectious disease and molecular virology fellowship training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During the last six months of his fellowship, Dr. Saag conceived the concept of a comprehensive HIV outpatient (1917) clinic dedicated to the provision of interdisciplinary patient care in conjunction with the conduct of high quality clinical trials, translational science, and clinical outcomes research.  Within the clinic structure, he established a clinical trials unit, a data management center, and a Clinical Specimen Repository designed to support the activities of the newly established Center for AIDS Research at UAB. In essence, the clinic became a “hub” for the clinical, basic science, and behavioral science investigators by creating a dynamic interface between the patients and the investigators.

Dr. Saag has participated in many studies of antiretroviral therapy as well as novel treatments for opportunistic infections. He has published over 450 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including the first description of the use of viral load in clinical practice (Science, 1993), the first description of the rapid dynamics of viral replication (Nature, 1995), the first guidelines for use of viral load in practice (Nature Medicine, 1996), and the first proof of concept of fusion inhibition as a therapeutic option (Nature Medicine, 1998). He directed the ‘first-in-patient’ studies of seven of the 30 antiretroviral drugs currently on the market. 

Dr. Saag co-edited a textbook entitled AIDS Therapy (now in its 3rd edition) and currently serves as an Editor of the Sanford Guide for Antimicrobial Agents and the Sanford HIV Guide. Dr. Saag serves on the International AIDS Society-USA Board of Directors, is a past president of the HIV Medical Association, is Chair of the IAS-USA Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines panel, was a founding Co-Chair of the AASLD / IDSA Hepatitis C Guidelines Panel, and is a past-member of the HHS Guidelines Panel on Antiretroviral Therapy and the WHO Antiretroviral Therapy Guidelines panel.

In 2014, he was the Castle-Connolly National Physician of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame. An accomplished teacher, Dr. Saag has been awarded Argus awards annually by the UAB medical students as Best Lecturer in the Patient, Doctor, and Society module. Dr. Saag recently published a memoir entitled “Positive: One doctor’s encounters with death, life, and the US Healthcare system,” now in its second printing.

Follow Dr. Saag on Twitter.

Dara Kass, MD, FACEP (New York City, NY)
Emergency medicine physician, healthcare advocate for women & underrepresented groups

Dr. Dara Kass (Marc Goldberg Photography)

Dr. Dara Kass is a tireless ER doctor and advocate for underrepresented groups in healthcare policy and medical leadership. She is also a Yahoo News Medical Contributor. As the Founder of FemInEM, Dr. Kass is a leader in building a community for women in emergency medicine.

She is a graduate of SUNY Downstate Medical School and Kings County Hospital’s residency program. Previously the director of undergraduate medical education at NYU, she now serves as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Center in NYC. She has been recently featured on CNN, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Vogue.

Through her own COVID-19 diagnosis and recovery, she continued to work with patients via telemedicine and broadly share the realities of healthcare workers during this crisis.

Follow Dr. Kass on Twitter and Instagram.

Jessi Gold, MD, MS (St. Louis, MO)
Psychiatrist, writer, mental health expert

Jessica (“Jessi”) Gold, M.D., M.S., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, where she works at the Habif Health and Wellness Center seeing undergraduate and graduate students as patients and teaches medical students and residents. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. and M.S. in Anthropology) and the Yale School of Medicine (M.D.). She completed her residency training in Adult Psychiatry at Stanford University where she served as chief resident from 2017-2018.

Dr. Gold is particularly interested in college mental health, women’s mental health and gender
equity, physician wellness, medical education, and the overlap between popular media, stigma,
and psychiatry. While she has published frequently in the more “traditional” methods of research papers and academic publications, she has also enjoyed teaching about mental health topics and decreasing stigma through writing for popular press outlets.

She has been featured in, among others, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Vox, Newsweek, Self, InStyle, Glamour, and the HuffPost. She is a member of the APA Council of Communications, the Psychiatric Times Advisory Board, a founding and steering committee member of TIME’S UP Healthcare, and on the editorial board for MedPage. She is very active on social media, particularly Twitter (@drjessigold), and was named one of Medscape’s top 20 physician influencers on social media in 2019.

Follow Dr. Gold on Twitter and Instagram and learn more about her work and writing on her website.

Bola Sokunbi, CFEI (Hunterdon County, NJ)
Finance expert, bestselling author, speaker

Bola Sokunbi (Caroline Beffa Photography)

Bola Sokunbi is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), finance expert, author, speaker, and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a financial education platform and community for women empowering them to achieve financial wellness and live life on their own terms.

Clever Girl Finance has been voted as one of the top personal finance websites for women. In addition, Bola and Clever Girl Finance have been featured in several media outlets including Time.com, Money Magazine, CNBC, Forbes, Fast Company, Essence, Black Enterprise, Cheddar TV, ABC News, Good Morning America, BBC, Fox Business and The Chicago Tribune as well as on several other finance websites and podcasts. 

Follow Clever Girl Finance on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.