NPR News

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The nation's counties say they are facing major challenges meeting the demands of the coronavirus pandemic. Local governments are seeing a steep rise in the number of people seeking help from programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The White House's coronavirus response team is scheduled to brief on Wednesday as another debate intensifies over more economic relief for the disaster.

Millions of Americans didn't pay their rent last week, according to new statistics, and forecasts suggest those shortfalls could deepen as the economy seizes up amid drastic countermeasures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

After all-night talks, European finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro failed to agree on a program to support the European Union's coronavirus-stricken economies.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

About a third of renters did not pay on time this month as business closures put millions of people out of work.

The National Multifamily Housing Council says 31% of renters didn't make their payment in the first week of April. Normally, about 20% of people don't pay their rent on time. The group tracks more than 13 million units through its survey.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not enough testing is available.

In the Philadelphia suburbs, Montgomery County has a drive-through site that has tested 250 people a day since March 21.

About 1 in 3 people who become sick enough to require hospitalization from COVID-19 were African American, according to hospital data from the first month of the U.S. epidemic released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even though 33% of those hospitalized patients were black, African Americans constitute 13% of the U.S. population. By contrast, the report found that 45% of hospitalizations were among white people, who make up 76% percent of the population. And 8% of hospitalizations were among Hispanics, who make up 18% of the population.

Originally from Cameroon, Pisso Nseke's work as a business consultant took him to Wuhan, China — where he was trapped when the city where the coronavirus first emerged sealed itself off from the world in January.

That changed on Wednesday. After 76 days, Nseke and the other residents of Wuhan are finally able to leave the city.

In his 1978 novel The Stand, author Stephen King wrote about a viral pandemic that decimated the world's population. And he gets it when fans say experiencing the COVID-19 outbreak feels like stepping into one of his horror stories.

"I keep having people say, 'Gee, it's like we're living in a Stephen King story,' " he says. "And my only response to that is, 'I'm sorry.' "

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, young people have been heavily criticized for not taking social distancing seriously.

How Safe Is It To Eat Takeout?

4 hours ago

Don Schaffner had Thai takeout for dinner a few nights ago, just as he did occasionally in the weeks and months before the current COVID-19 pandemic.

That's worth knowing. Schaffner is a distinguished professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey whose expertise includes quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive food microbiology, hand-washing and cross-contamination.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

In New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S., no ethnic group has been harder hit by the deadly disease it causes than the Latinx community. Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out the preliminary data during a briefing Wednesday, offering one of the first detailed glimpses yet into the breakdown of patients' race and ethnicity.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Using the COVID-19 pandemic to score political points is dangerous and will only result in "many more body bags," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday, less than a day after President Trump criticized the WHO and its relationship with China. Tedros also revealed he has received death threats in recent months.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tens of thousands of people streamed out of Wuhan by car, train and plane after a 76-day lockdown was lifted Wednesday from the Chinese city where the global coronavirus pandemic began.

Online child sexual abuse is rising as countries close schools and impose various levels of lockdown to contain the new coronavirus pandemic, children's rights advocates in Southeast Asia warn.

Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his 2020 presidential campaign Wednesday, bowing to the commanding delegate lead former Vice President Joe Biden established.

A day after the top Senate Republican announced he would press to approve another $250 billion in small business assistance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer outlined their demands for what should be in an "interim emergency" coronavirus relief bill — doubling the potential price tag to $500 billion.

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Auto giant General Motors will build 30,000 medical ventilators for the national stockpile, at a cost of $489.4 million, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

Updated at 3:44 p.m. ET

The CEO and founder of the newly popular video conferencing service Zoom says he'll make his product harder to use, if it improves safety and security.

Zoom has taken off during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to how easy it is to join a virtual meeting on the platform by clicking on a single link.

With most schools closed nationwide because of the coronavirus pandemic, a national poll of young people ages 13 to 17 suggests distance learning has been far from a universal substitute.

The poll of 849 teenagers, by Common Sense Media, conducted with SurveyMonkey, found that as schools across the country transition to some form of online learning, 41% of teenagers overall, including 47% of public school students, say they haven't attended a single online or virtual class.

Misty Donaldson-Urriola and Edgar Urriola of Raytown, Mo., are recently divorced. But they have remained close friends as they raise their three sons together.

They generally see each other every day.

That constant contact and proximity – an aspect of family life – is being put to the test by a disease that thrives when people are close together.

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority — and among the most marginalized European citizens, excluded from society for decades. With the coronavirus pandemic, now they're facing a potential humanitarian disaster.

Many of the estimated 12 million Roma in Europe live in shantytowns without access to water, electricity or sanitation — not to mention with sometimes limited access to doctors.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, despite this pandemic, thousands of people lined up to vote yesterday in Wisconsin's presidential primary. Katherine Wilson is a poll worker in the town of Appleton. We got her on the line in the middle of the day.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A springtime stroll, baking bread or binging shows can be a tonic for a life lived in lockdown. But some workers doing their jobs remotely are carrying on by partying on, virtually.

Normally at this time of year, DJ Haddad and his co-workers run raucous rounds of college basketball competitions. "We're really missing March Madness — it's kind of a big thing on our team," says Haddad, CEO of Haddad & Partners, an advertising company in Fairfield, Conn., with nearly 70 employees around the world.

Pages