A longtime employee of NBC is among those in the growing number of people dying from complications after contracting the coronavirus.
Larry Edgeworth, who worked for the TV network as an audio technician for 25 years, died Thursday at the age of 61. He reportedly had an existing health condition that likely exacerbated the coronavirus symptoms that led to his death.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack identified Edgeworth by name on Friday and cited privacy reasons for not doing so when he previously informing the company that an employee had tested positive for the respiratory disease that is also known a COVID-19.
“Larry was a gentle bear of a man, the heart and soul of our extended NBC family,” NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said. “I was always cheered and reassured knowing he was on the team in the field. He always had my back whether here in the U.S. or in the most dangerous situations around the world.”
Other acquaintances and co-workers of Edgeworth echoed Mitchell’s sentiment while mourning his death on social media.
Edgeworth’s age and pre-existing health conditions may have factored in his death since the Centers for Disease Control has said that the coronavirus places older people who are not in top health condition as being among the most at-risk.
Edgeworth, who is survived by his wife and their two sons, was among what seemed like a growing number of Black people testing positive for the coronavirus weeks after a false narrative spread that Black people may be immune to the illness that more than 16,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with and more than 200 people have died from. As of Friday afternoon, there were more than 244,000 cases worldwide with more than 11,000 deaths.
Prior to NBC announcing Edgeworth’s death and identifying him by name, there were only reports that an employee of the 3rd hour of the “TODAY” morning show had tested positive for the coronavirus. That prompted longtime meteorologist Al Roker and anchor Craig Melvin to quarantine themselves because they had come in contact with Edgeworth. Melvin is 40 years and Roker is 65.
NBC on Thursday night also announced that another of its employees had also tested positive for the coronavirus. While that worker was not identified in the announcement, he or she, like Edgeworth, was working at the network’s New York City headquarters in Rockefeller Center at the time of testing positive. The development likely means that other NBC employees could soon test positive for the highly contagious disease that infects people days if not weeks before they begin exhibiting symptoms.