Nov. 06, 2020
Best of the Week — First Winner
As families respond to the crisis, AP reveals desperate state of Venezuelan COVID treatment
Venezuela was one of the least-prepared countries in the world to fight the coronavirus. But it has arguably succeeded on one front: suppressing news of the virus’s true impact on its people. The country has acknowledged only 814 COVID deaths. But this Caracas-based all-formats AP team scored a breakthrough, telling the actual story in a country where contradicting the government’s official narrative can lead to detention.
Documenting two women working to ensure the survival of their fathers, the AP journalists delivered a hard-won, startling and exclusive look at the bleak state of health care and the plight of relatives who risk their own lives to care for loved ones in the COVID-19 wing of a rundown public hospital.
For their determination and courage to report this story and expose Venezuela’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Smith, Cubillos and Arraez earn AP’s Best of the Week honors.