This study compares the coverage of coping strategies and emotions portrayed in news regarding COVID-19 by The New York Times in the U.S. and People’s Daily of China via social media. By employing corpus assisted discourse analysis to scrutinize the text corpora, our study uncovered prominent keywords and themes. Findings indicate that a comprehensive range of themes relating to coping strategies was more common in People’s Daily while a relatively smaller number of themes was apparent in The New York Times. In terms of emotions exhibited in the news coverage, positive emotions such as cheer, gratitude, and good wishes predominated in People’s Daily whereas in The New York Times, negative emotions in the form of fears and anxiety were salient. The differences are explained with reference to the political context intertwined with the news environment and prior experiences in handling epidemics, with practical implications.