Alana Wise

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.

Prior to joining WAMU, Wise was a politics and later companies news reporter at Reuters, where she covered the 2016 presidential election and the U.S. airline industry. Ever the fan of cherry blossoms and unpredictable weather, Alana, an Atlanta native and Howard University graduate, can be found roaming the city admiring puppies and the national monuments, in that order.

 

Former President Barack Obama joined his former vice president, Joe Biden, on a virtual fundraiser on Tuesday evening as top-level Democrats seek to consolidate voters around the party's 2020 presumptive nominee.

"I am here to say the help is on the way if we do the work, because there's nobody I trust more to be able to heal this country and get back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden," Obama told supporters on the video conference.

Updated at 7:55 p.m ET

President Trump on Thursday met with pastors, law enforcement officials and small-business owners at a church in Dallas to discuss plans to "build safety, opportunity and dignity," following recent nationwide protests against police brutality.

"It's going to end up very good for everybody," Trump said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called for the removal of statues of Confederate soldiers and officials from the U.S. Capitol as reignited conversations about the nation's treatment of racial minorities have once again brought the monuments' history into question.

In an open letter to the Joint Committee on the Library, Pelosi asked Congress to "lead by example" and remove 11 Confederate statues from the Capitol.

President Trump this month will begin hitting the road once again to make his pitch for reelection in the 2020 White House race, despite the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which continues to wreak havoc on the lives and livelihoods of households across the country.

"Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump. The Great American Comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous. You'll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that Sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of," campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement provided to NPR.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

President Trump on Monday called governors weak and urged them to "dominate" to prevent further violent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, described the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after police pinned his neck to the ground for several minutes, as an "act of brutality."

"Once again — the words 'I can't breathe.' An act of brutality so elemental, it did more than deny one more black man in America his civil rights and his human rights. It denied his very humanity. It denied him of his life," Biden said Friday.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Friday said President Trump had directly threatened the health and safety of her state's residents through his coronavirus response, including his recent refusals wear a mask in public and defense of those protesting stay-at-home orders.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday requested the identities of any Obama administration officials who may have sought intelligence information on members of President Trump's 2016 and 2017 campaign and transition teams.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, will remotely address the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday regarding the disbursement of hundreds of billions of dollars in coronavirus relief aid.

In written testimony released on Monday (below), Powell described the pandemic as having caused "a level of pain that is hard to capture in words."

He added: "As a society, we should do everything we can to provide relief to those who are suffering for the public good."

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

U.S. Attorney General William Barr told reporters Monday he does not expect a Justice Department probe examining the origins of the inquiry into Russian election interference will result in criminal investigations into either former President Barack Obama or his vice president, Joe Biden.

President Trump on Friday unveiled more details of "Operation Warp Speed" – an effort to accelerate the development of a vaccine and medical treatments for the coronavirus by January.

"We're looking to get it by the end of the year if we can, maybe before," Trump said as top medical, military and Cabinet officials, many of them wearing face masks, joined him in the Rose Garden.

Trump compared the effort to the Manhattan Project – the World War II effort to build the first nuclear weapon.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Republican Mike Garcia has been projected the winner of a special election for a California U.S. House seat, according to the Associated Press, giving the GOP a victory in a district that slipped away from them in the 2018 Democratic wave election.

Democratic candidate Christy Smith had conceded earlier on Wednesday, as large numbers of votes submitted by mail continue to be tallied, but Smith conceded with Garcia leading by more than 17,000 votes, or 12 percentage points.

House Democrats plan to move forward with a $3 trillion bill for additional coronavirus relief, following up on the historic $2 trillion aid package passed in March.

Staffers in the West Wing have been directed to wear face masks in the White House, except when at their own desks, a Trump administration official told NPR.

President Trump wants states to begin relaxing stay-at-home orders and reopen businesses after the spread of the coronavirus pummeled the global economy and killed millions of jobs.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

The White House on Friday confirmed a second case of coronavirus this week, now in Vice President Pence's office, as both the president and his No. 2 have recently begun traveling again.

Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller tested positive for the virus on Friday, after having tested negative Thursday.

President Trump told reporters Friday that Miller hasn't come into contact with him but has "spent some time" with the vice president.

The White House coronavirus task force rejected detailed guidance drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how workplaces ranging from schools to bars to churches should resume operations to prevent the spread of the virus because it was viewed as "overly prescriptive."

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says an accusation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden is "not clear-cut," but that it remains of great importance to listen to survivors and allow for proper due process in such cases.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

Updated at 4:08 p.m. ET

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee have called on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to address potentially "misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious" statements the company made in an earlier testimony about its competitive practices.

Committee members threatened to subpoena the billionaire businessman if he did not voluntarily submit to questioning on whether Amazon uses information about independent vendors to create competing goods, contradicting sworn testimony by the company last year.

More Americans have now died from the coronavirus in less than two months than in the entire nine years of the Vietnam war — more than 58,000. But the United States crossed another threshold Tuesday — 1 million known coronavirus cases.

Vice President Pence responded to criticisms that he defied Mayo Clinic policy by not wearing a mask during his visit Tuesday to the campus, saying he complied with federal guidelines and felt it was his duty to speak to workers at the facility unencumbered by a facial covering.

"As vice president of the United States, I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus," he told reporters, saying he is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton has officially thrown her support behind Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race against President Trump, who defeated Clinton in 2016.

The 2016 Democratic nominee and former secretary of state announced the endorsement in an online town hall with Biden on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on women. It's the latest high-profile endorsement racked up by the former vice president, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday.

Updated on Friday at 12:33 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed off on an additional $484 billion in coronavirus relief efforts, which Congress passed earlier in the week. Here's what's in the legislation:

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The tension in America between the national government and states' rights is as old as the republic itself. That tension is about to play out in a starkly political way and on a grand scale over the next several weeks, as states consider how to reopen in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department would support legal action against states that continue to impose strict social distancing rules even after coronavirus cases begin to subside in their respective states.

In a Tuesday interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Barr called some current stay-at-home orders "burdens on civil liberties" and said that if they continued and lawsuits were brought, his department would side against the state.

Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that adequate coronavirus testing existed but was being underutilized by governors, following a chorus of complaints by state leaders and health care experts regarding the country's insufficient testing capacity.

Updated 8:22 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday said states are well equipped to adequately test for COVID-19, a position that has been contradicted by state leaders and health care experts.

The Trump administration this week released a plan to begin reopening the U.S. economy, even as experts warn that the country has a long way to go before it can responsibly ease restrictions.

Updated at 7:21 p.m. ET

The White House unveiled guidelines on Thursday it said the nation can use to plot a course out of the coronavirus disaster and toward something like normal.

Trump also spoke via teleconference with the governors of the 50 states earlier Thursday to outline his plan for the way they'll proceed with re-opening and normalization.

President Trump spoke to governors Thursday, outlining recommendations for states to reopen based on several factors.

The Trump administration has shared a guideline of three phases for states to begin easing social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders, according to a copy of the guidelines obtained by NPR's Tamara Keith.

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