Welcome to this week’s edition of The Labs Report. 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve examined how the gig economy is faring during the COVID-19 pandemic, how the economy at large is being impacted, what names are most popularly used to describe the virus, and the conversational themes most discussed in relation to COVID-19.

In this edition of The Labs Report, we’re taking a look at how trending news stories related to COVID-19 vary across different industries.


In Focus: Healthcare on Top

To kick off our analysis, we took a look at some of the top industries mentioned in relation to COVID-19, choosing the top five by volume of mentions over the last month to more closely examine in this Labs Report.

Looking at the image below, you’ll see that the Healthcare industry dominates almost half of the conversation, with the Hospitality, Aerospace, Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical industries rounding out the top five.

Next, we looked at trending news stories from these top five industries to surface common topics and themes that have driven attention over the past month, valuable information for organizations as they adjust their communications strategies to meet this new normal. 


  1. Under pressure, Trump administration opens door to mobilizing Medicaid to fight coronavirus | The Los Angeles Times
  2. Teen Who Died of Covid-19 Was Denied Treatment Because He Didn’t Have Health Insurance | Gizmodo
  3. Portugal gives migrants and asylum-seekers full citizenship rights during coronavirus outbreak | CNN
  4. The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? #StayHome, save lives | USA Today
  5. Guess Who Previously Owned Health Insurance Co. Operating Coronavirus Testing Website | MSN

Key themes that drove COVID-19-related news stories in the Healthcare industry over the past month included insurance (which touched three of the top five trending stories), immigration (albeit in Portugal) and the #stayhome movement. 

This surge of policy-related issues is in line with our previous analysis, where we highlighted the fact that politics are dominating discussions around COVID-19.


  1. Planet of the apes! Hundreds of hungry monkeys swarm across Thai street as ‘rival gangs’ fight over food after tourists who normally feed them stay away because of coronavirus | Daily Mail
  2. ‘If I Caught the Coronavirus, Would You Want Me Making Your Next Meal?’ | The New York Times
  3. Hungry monkeys brawl over food as coronavirus hits tourism in Thailand – video | The Guardian
  4. 2nd-Grader Gives 6K Masks, Caps To Hospital Staff: Coronavirus | Patch
  5. France Is Putting Domestic Abuse Victims in Hotels During Coronavirus Lockdown | Vice

When it comes to trending news stories around COVID-19’s impact on the Hospitality industry over the last month, common themes primarily centered around the consequences of the global decrease in tourism (and the resulting surge in monkey brawls), as well as the repurposing of hotel facilities and resources (from housing domestic abuse victims to donating unused masks and shower caps).


  1. Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy | The San Francisco Chronicle
  2. Illinois Governor Blasts Trump Administration As Screening Jams Airports | Huffington Post
  3. Boeing Crashes: $43 Billion in Share Buybacks Turn into Existential Threat | Naked Capitalism
  4. COVID-19. By the end of May, most world airlines will be bankrupt | CAPA – Centre for Aviation
  5. He Led a Top Navy Ship. Now He Sits in Quarantine, Fired and Infected. | The New York Times

In Aerospace + COVID-19 news that trended over the last month, we saw common themes around airlines in financial duress, which wasn’t remedied by a surge in return travel to the United States following federal travel restrictions

The saga of Capt. Brett Crozier, captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier who was fired after he asked for help containing COVID-19 on his ship, was also prominently featured in the top stories.


  1. Trump Calls for American Independence Agenda to Defeat Coronavirus: U.S. Must Never Rely on a Foreign Country | Breitbart
  2. There Aren’t Enough Ventilators to Cope With the Coronavirus | The New York Times
  3. Volunteers 3D-Print Unobtainable $11,000 Valve For $1 To Keep Covid-19 Patients Alive; Original Manufacturer Threatens To Sue | TechDirt
  4. Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy of Malaria Drug for Treating Coronavirus Divides Medical Community | The New York Times
  5. Coronavirus is pushing Apple’s iPhone makers to find new manufacturing frontiers outside of China | Business Insider

In trending, COVID-19-related stories within the Manufacturing industry, we saw a few common themes, including the much-discussed production of ventilators (or lack thereof) and commentary on the pros and cons of diversifying production locations of all goods, not just those in healthcare.


  1. Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy of Malaria Drug for Treating Coronavirus Divides Medical Community | The New York Times
  2. Germany tries to stop US from luring away firm seeking coronavirus vaccine | CNBC
  3. US drugmaker doubled price on potential coronavirus treatment | Financial Times
  4. Pharma-Funded Group Tied to a Top Trump Donor Is Promoting Malaria Drug to the President | Sludge
  5. Donald Trump Has Stake In Hydroxychloroquine Drugmaker: Report | Huffington Post

Finally, when it comes to COVID-19-related news in the Pharmaceutical industry, there was (unsurprisingly) one common conversational theme: the search for a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine. A significant part of the conversation centered around hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug touted by President Trump (without full support from the medical community).


While You Wait

For more information and resources related to COVID-19, please visit Zignal’s dedicated COVID-19 Response Page, where you’ll find best practices, data-driven analyses and shareable content you can leverage in your response to COVID-19.

To learn how public health best practices can help you create an impactful communications strategy fit for these unprecedented times, watch the replay of our recent virtual town hall, “Fighting an Infodemic: Lessons from Public Health Experts.”

You can sign up for our next virtual town hall, which will explore “The Weaponization of a Global Crisis: Disinformation in the COVID Era,” here.