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A veteran CBS News journalist has passed away after a bout with coronavirus. CBS confirmed that one of their own, Maria Mercader, died this weekend after contracting COVID-19. The 54-year-old was already on medical leave for an unrelated matter and fought cancer and related illnesses for more than 20 years, said CBS.

“Even more than her talents as a journalist, we will miss her indomitable spirit,” said Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior executive producer. “Maria was part of all of our lives. Even when she was hospitalized — and she knew something was going on at CBS, she would call with counsel, encouragement, and would say ‘you can do this.’ I called Maria a ‘warrior,’ she was. Maria was a gift we cherished.”

Well-liked and well respected, Maria was an integral part in coordinating CBS’ participation in the National Association of Black Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

“The Maria we are privileged to call family and friend knew better than most the power of relationships, loyalty, faith, kindness, perseverance and a smile, even when a smile defied the darkness of the moment,” said Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, EVP of Strategic Professional Development, CBS News. “Her notable professional contributions are part of the CBS Archives, but it is her magnificent human spirit that touched so many of us, that will stay with us forever.”

Maria’s passing comes after Larry Edgeworth, a beloved NBC audio technician, died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

R.I.P. Maria Mercader.

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