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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.

 

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee moved Thursday to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, bringing President Trump's nominee within striking distance of confirmation and the court a step closer to a 6-3 conservative majority.

President Trump on Wednesday granted clemency to five people, commuting their lengthy sentences as part of his administration's pitch for criminal justice reform.

Four of the five people had been in prison because of drug offenses, while the fifth had been sentenced for food stamp fraud.

The five cases had been highlighted by clemency activists, including Alice Marie Johnson, who has worked with the White House on the issue, and who spoke at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Updated at 9:50 p.m. ET

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced changes to the debate rules ahead of Thursday's final presidential debate.

Under the new rules, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will each have two minutes of uninterrupted time to speak at the beginning of every 15-minute segment of the debate.

President Trump, who has for months been at loggerheads with public health experts on how best to contain the coronavirus pandemic, on Monday called Dr. Anthony Fauci a "disaster" and complained that Americans are tired of hearing from "these idiots," according to media reports of a call between Trump and campaign staff.

Updated at 11:27 p.m. ET

In a unique political split screen, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared in competing town halls at the same time on Thursday night.

Among their notable answers, Trump declined to denounce the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, while Biden said he would offer a more concrete answer on "court packing" before Election Day.

Updated at 7:44 p.m. ET

The second presidential debate has been canceled, organizers confirmed, following a disagreement between the campaigns and the Commission on Presidential Debates regarding safety protocols for Thursday's event.

"On October 8, CPD announced that for the health and safety of all involved, the second presidential debate, scheduled for October 15 in Miami, would be conducted virtually," the commission said in a statement Friday.

Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

President Trump plans to deliver remarks on Saturday at an outdoor event, his first public event since being hospitalized for the coronavirus, a White House official confirmed to NPR's Tamara Keith. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.

The event, first reported by ABC News, is expected to take place on the South Lawn of the White House.

Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo Thursday that "I fully anticipate the president's safe return to public engagements" on Saturday, based on the date he tested positive for the coronavirus and his response to treatment.

Conley did not provide any information about whether Trump has or will be tested for the virus. He said Trump's physical example "has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness."

Updated Thursday at 12:48 a.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday boasted of his improved health in a video posted to Twitter, calling his coronavirus diagnosis "a blessing from God."

The president's video address is one of several he has posted to the social media site in the days since he was admitted to and ultimately released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

White House adviser Stephen Miller has tested positive for the coronavirus, the White House press office told NPR, days after President Trump and several others at the White House have also tested positive for the virus.

In a statement shared by the press office, Miller, who made his name as the architect of some of Trump's most controversial and severe immigration policies, said:

"Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday. Today, I tested positive for COVID-19 and am in quarantine."

Vice President Mike Pence, who on Friday tested negative for the coronavirus, plans to maintain his usual schedule in the coming days, despite several confirmed cases of the virus within the White House, including President Trump and the First Lady.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The country was put on edge overnight as President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that raises concerns about their health and throws the final stretch of the presidential campaign — already upended by the pandemic — even further into unknown territory.

The couple's 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, has tested negative for the virus, the first lady's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NPR.

Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager and longtime digital strategist to President Trump, has stepped away from his role in the president's re-election effort, campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh confirms to NPR. Last weekend, Parscale was involved in an incident with police that saw him involuntarily hospitalized.

In a statement to Politico on Wednesday, Parscale said he was stepping down to seek help for "overwhelming stress" on both him and his family.

President Trump on Wednesday decried reported health agency efforts to issue stricter guidelines for evaluating a vaccine against COVID-19, accusing the Food and Drug Administration of playing politics.

Trump was apparently reacting to a Tuesday report in the New York Times that said the agency will soon move to tighten requirements for emergency authorization of any coronavirus vaccine to better ensure its safety and effectiveness.

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday suggested that he might not accept the election results if he is not declared the winner in November, in response to a reporter's question about whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power — regardless of the outcome of the election.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Sunday delivered uncompromising remarks, calling for Republicans to hold off on considering a Supreme Court nominee from President Trump until after the Nov. 3 general election.

Biden urged Republican lawmakers to respect the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish that she "not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The chief of staff to Vice President Pence on Sunday defended the administration's decision to ignore the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's deathbed request not to fill her seat until after the election, telling CNN that it was not Ginsburg's choice to make.

Shortly before dying Friday, Ginsburg dictated a statement to her granddaughter: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the feminist Supreme Court justice who inspired generations of women, died on Friday at the age of 87.

Throughout her career, Ginsburg granted a number of interviews to NPR. Explore some of her recent, more memorable remarks.

On retiring:

The octogenarian served 27 years on the bench over four presidencies, five bouts with cancer, and countless opinions on groundbreaking legal decisions.

President Trump on Friday said "every American" will have a vaccine for the coronavirus available by April, escalating already ambitious goals to fast-track a vaccine for the virus that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the United States.

In austere, starkly divisive remarks, President Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote "patriotic education" and announced the creation of a grant to develop a "pro-American curriculum." The move is largely political — a reaction to a growing push by some academics for schools to teach an American history that better acknowledges slavery and systemic racism.

With wildfires devastating the West and a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast, President Trump, who has for years mocked and denied the reality of climate change, was briefed on Monday on the status of fires in California.

Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET

Friday marks the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the United States — the single deadliest instance of a terrorist attack in world history and among the most consequential global policy markers in modern times.

President Trump on Thursday defended his decision to mislead the public about the deadliness of the coronavirus as documented in Bob Woodward's new book, declining to call his misstatements about the virus and its spread a "lie" and saying he needed to show "strength" in the face of the crisis.

"I want to show a level of confidence, and I want to show strength as a leader, and I want to show our country is going to be fine one way or another," Trump said at a news conference.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending himself after interviews from a new book by legendary reporter Bob Woodward reveal that Trump acknowledged the deadliness of the coronavirus in early February and admitted in March to playing down its severity.

Updated at noon ET

The U.S. Senate is holding a hearing Wednesday on the development of vaccines aimed at eradicating the coronavirus amid escalated political rhetoric regarding the potential effectiveness of a fast-tracked vaccine.

As President Trump has promised to expedite treatments against the virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans, he has appeared publicly rankled by critics who question his handling of the pandemic and those who are skeptical of the viability of a safe vaccine in such record time.

The U.S. Postal Service's inspector general has outlined a number of ongoing concerns about the agency's ability to manage the influx of mailed ballots for the 2020 election — separate from the recent controversial actions by the postmaster general.

The internal watchdog said in a report that it found several potential problems in the way mail was being processed, including ballots mailed without bar code mail-tracking technology and out-of-date voter addresses.

President Trump on Monday declined to condemn the actions of the 17-year-old suspect in the shooting of three protesters against police brutality in Kenosha, Wis., claiming, without evidence, that it appeared the gunman was acting in self-defense.

President Trump on Friday struck a markedly different tone at a New Hampshire rally as compared his address to the Republican National Convention the night before.

Speaking to a crowd of a few hundred supporters in Manchester, Trump returned to his trademark bombastic, free-wheeling campaign style as he echoed many of the same themes he broached during his convention acceptance speech — warning of a looming "socialist" threat and bashing his 2020 rival Joe Biden.

Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy defended his management of the U.S. Postal Service to the House on Monday amid concerns that his cost-cutting measures have jeopardized the agency's ability to serve Americans.

Mail service has slowed across the country, according to internal documents obtained by the House Oversight Committee, but DeJoy denies the slowdowns are part of any attempt to reduce voting by mail this year.

Discussions for the next round of coronavirus relief funding remain ensnared in a political back and forth over election money, with the topic of mail-in voting a lingering point of contention between Democrats and the Trump administration.

President Trump on Wednesday spent much of his daily briefing to reporters railing against additional funding to support the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting, making the baseless accusation that voting by mail is ripe for fraud.

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