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Will Stone

Will Stone is a KUNR alumnus, having served as a passionate, talented reporter for KUNR for nearly two years before moving in early 2015 to the major Phoenix market at public radio station KJZZ.

An East Coast transplant, he's worked at NPR stations in Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut. He's also interned at the NPR West Headquarters in Los Angeles where he learned from some of the network's best correspondents. Before joining the public radio airwaves, he studied English at a small liberal arts college and covered arts and culture for an alternative newsweekly in Philadelphia.

He's particularly drawn to education, government and environmental reporting, as listeners became aware, he jumped on any story that got him out into the field with a mic in hand.

He enjoyed the Reno outdoors, food and cultural scene, given his liking for  hiking, fish tacos and great American poetry. While KUNR listeners miss his reporting, we're always glad to help prepare, encourage and support successful public radio professionals wherever they go.

See what Will is up to at KJZZ.

In Peru, Dr. Ramiro Lazo Camposano, a pediatrician, was going door-to-door seeing his patients in the capital city of Lima at a time when most health care workers in the U.S. had already celebrated getting their second shots of the COVID vaccine. But he was not vaccinated. Doses were in short supply across Peru.

Eventually, Lazo Camposano, 74, caught the virus and passed it onto his son.

"Both went to the ICU unit, and they didn't make it," says his daughter Dr. Marcela Lazo Escalante, a physician and medical researcher in Lima. Father and son died in February.

It's still a mystery. How did the pandemic begin?

There is the leading hypothesis among scientists: The virus hopped from an animal — possibly a bat — to a human, or to some other animal, which later spread the disease to humans.

And then there is the lab leak hypothesis: The virus somehow escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

President Biden is set to announce Thursday that the United States has bought 500 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to donate to COVAX, which is distributing vaccines to countries that cannot afford to buy enough shots, a source familiar with the deal confirmed to NPR.

The news comes after Biden's arrival Wednesday in England on the first foreign trip of his presidency. He has said he wants to use the eight-day European trip to marshal a plan with other G-7 nations to help end the pandemic around the world.

Vaccines are now on their way to parts of the world where vaccines are sorely lacking.

The Biden administration is exporting an initial batch of 25 million doses from a promised 80 million for countries in need, part of the president's pledge on June 3 to "lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19."

When a filmmaker asked medical historian Naomi Rogers to appear in a new documentary, the Yale professor didn't blink. She had done these "talking head" interviews many times before.

She assumed her comments would end up in a straightforward documentary that addressed some of the most pressing concerns of the pandemic, such as the legacy of racism in medicine and how that plays into current mistrust in some communities of color. The subject of vaccines was also mentioned, but the focus wasn't clear to Rogers.

After more than 50 years, the federal government is lifting a roadblock to cannabis research that scientists and advocates say has hindered rigorous studies of the plant and possible drug development.

Since 1968, U.S. researchers have been allowed to use cannabis from only one domestic source: a facility based at the University of Mississippi, through a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

As more states shed their universal mask mandates for those who are vaccinated, many Americans are weighing how much faith to put in the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in the integrity of their unvaccinated peers, who are supposed to follow the rules and keep wearing masks.

As the coronavirus outbreak recedes in many parts of the U.S., the Pacific Northwest has emerged as an outlier — gripped by a late spring surge that has filled hospitals in the metro areas around Seattle and Portland.

In recent weeks, the governors of both states have hit the brakes on reopening plans in hopes of countering the rapid spread of the more contagious B.1.1.7. variant of the coronavirus, first identified in the U.K.

After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in COVID-19 hospital wards.

It's both a sign of the country's success in protecting the elderly through vaccination and an urgent reminder that younger generations will pay a heavy price if the outbreak is allowed to simmer in communities across the country.

When the pandemic hit, many Americans turned to vitamins and supplements in hopes of boosting their immune systems.

Scientists also raced to study them. Vitamin D, perhaps more than any other, captured the attention of researchers.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In the year since the World Health Organization first declared a global pandemic, on March 11, 2020, millions of families have endured the excruciating rise and fall of the U.S. outbreak. The waves of sickness have left them with untold wounds, even as hospitalizations ebb and infections subside.

Some Americans have experienced tragedy upon tragedy, losing multiple family members to the virus in a matter of months.

As the newest coronavirus vaccine makes its debut, the American public has a new set of deliberations before walking into their vaccine clinic — go with the new arrival or stick with the two vaccines that have already gone into the arms of more than 50 million Americans?

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a few distinct advantages: only one shot is required and it can hold up in a refrigerator for several months.

Updated 2:12 p.m. ET

With coronavirus infections on a steady, six weeks long descent in the U.S., it's clear the worst days of the brutal winter surge have waned. Yet researchers are still not sure how sustainable the decline is. And a small but concerning uptick in cases in the last three days has health officials on edge.

While millions wait for a lifesaving shot, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus continues to soar upward with horrifying speed. On Tuesday, the last full day of Donald Trump's presidency, the official death count reached 400,000 — a once-unthinkable number. More than 100,000 Americans have perished in the pandemic in just the past five weeks.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Even as the first doses of vaccine arrive in nursing homes and assisted living communities, the COVID-19 death toll among residents and staff of these facilities continues climbing to staggering heights, with the final month of 2020 proving to be the deadliest of the pandemic for long-term care.

There were more than 5,600 deaths linked to long-term care in the last week of December.

As Thanksgiving approached, Americans were bombarded with warnings that holiday travel and gatherings would bring a "surge on top of a surge" — setting the country on a precarious path as it entered the next round of holidays in late December.

Tens of thousands of health care workers in cities and states all over the country got their first doses of the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine this past week — a monumental undertaking both scientifically and logistically — and more than seven million doses of the Pfizer and newly-authorized Moderna vaccine are being shipped out this coming week.

More than 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

It is the latest sign of a generational tragedy — one still unfolding in every corner of the country — that leaves in its wake an expanse of grief that cannot be captured in a string of statistics.

"The numbers do not reflect that these were people," says Brian Walter, whose 80-year-old father, John, died from COVID-19. "Everyone lost was a father or a mother, they had kids, they had family, they left people behind."

It's hard to overstate how much the U.S. coronavirus outbreak has deteriorated this past week, with each day ushering in new, disturbing records.

On Thursday, there were more than 150,000 new infections. It was only last week that the U.S. reached a record of more than 100,000 infections in a single day for the first time ever.

Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly in many states as the U.S. heads into the winter months. And forecasters predict staggering growth in infections and deaths if current trends continue.

It's exactly the kind of scenario that public health experts have long warned could be in store for the country, if it did not aggressively tamp down on infections over the summer.

Even when there isn't a pandemic, finding the right doctor can be tough in rural eastern Ohio. Reid Davis, 21, and his mother Crystal live in Jefferson County, which hugs the Ohio River near West Virginia. Their home is surrounded by farms, hayfields and just a few neighbors.

"To the nearest hospital, you're talking about 50 minutes to an hour," Reid Davis says.

After a rocky, short-lived tenure at the National Institutes of Health, a former top federal scientist who clashed with the Trump administration in the early days of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak has stepped down from his post over what he said were continued efforts to thwart his work on the nation's pandemic response.

According to his attorneys, Dr. Rick Bright submitted his resignation on Tuesday to NIH leadership, claiming he was "sidelined from doing any further work to combat this deadly virus."

It's been two weeks since the public learned about a deadly outbreak of coronavirus at Life Care Center of Kirkland — a long-term care and nursing facility in Washington state — and some families wait on edge over loved ones who remain there.

As of Friday afternoon, only about a third of the 120 residents who were living at the facility in mid-February remain. There are 25 people associated with Life Care who have died after being infected with coronavirus. Other residents are in the hospital.

The original story behind the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is both undisputed and well known: a gay couple in Colorado walked into the bakery in 2012 and asked for wedding cake. The owner and master baker Jack Phillips declined to make a custom cake for their party because he said their union violated his religious beliefs.

The couple filed a complaint with the state's civil rights commission, which found Phillips was violating the state's anti-discrimination laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people.

Tesla Motors recently chose Nevada for its massive battery factory in exchange for one of the biggest incentives packages in recent history. The factory will be built in a rural area about an hour east of Reno with little infrastructure and years of high unemployment. Small communities are scrambling to prepare for a wave of speculators, businesses and people.

These story first aired on Morning Edition on Dec. 29, 2014.

It makes some sense that young people might work less than their older counterparts. They are figuring out their lives, going in and out of school and making more short-term plans.

But a whopping 5.8 million young people are neither in school nor working. It is "a completely different situation than we've seen in the past," says Elisabeth Jacobs, the senior director for policy and academic programs at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.