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 6:50 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday placed much of the blame for the swell in coronavirus cases on recent demonstrations against racism and police brutality, ignoring in large part his administration's push to reopen the national economy before the virus had been fully contained.

In an extended conversation with NPR's Rachel Martin, Mary Trump said on Wednesday that her grandfather and family patriarch Fred Trump rewarded ruthlessness and dismissed any interests outside of the family real estate business, contributing to what she now views as an unfitness on President Trump's part to hold the office of the White House.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

President Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden on a broad range of topics on Tuesday, pitching himself as the stronger competitor over rival Joe Biden to manage the deadly coronavirus pandemic and steer the U.S. economy to prosperity.

His remarks come amid mounting concerns raised by public health officials about his administration's aggressive pitch to return the United States to normalcy, including pushing guidance for schools to reopen for in-person classes this fall.

Updated at 2:36 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday outlined an updated climate plan, seeking to invest $2 trillion to boost clean energy and rebuild infrastructure.

The proposal is the second plank of his new economic agenda called "Build Back Better," which he first detailed last week in Pennsylvania.

President Trump on Saturday was photographed wearing a mask during a visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, after months of refusing to don the medical expert-recommended face coverings meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"I love masks in the appropriate locations," Trump said, speaking to reporters at the White House before his visit.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, told members of Congress on Tuesday that although he can't predict the ultimate number of infections and deaths related to the coronavirus, "it's going to be very disturbing."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday told NPR she agreed with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's assessment that mask usage should be mandated on the federal level amid a surge of coronavirus cases across the United States. She blamed the Trump administration for failing to accept the seriousness of the pandemic.

"I totally agree with Joe Biden. As long as we're faced with this crisis, masks should be mandatory," Pelosi told NPR's Ari Shapiro and Susan Davis on All Things Considered.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

The White House Coronavirus Task Force renewed calls for vigilance on Friday, acknowledging rising cases across Southern states and in parts of California.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET Thursday

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that he doesn't believe President Trump has overstepped the boundaries between the White House and the Justice Department in a number of big recent cases.

Barr told NPR in a wide-ranging interview that he believes Trump has "supervisory authority" to oversee the effective course of justice — but Barr said that ultimately, the choices were made and carried through independently by the Justice Department.

The in-person Democratic National Convention will be scaled down significantly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the Milwaukee event now relying heavily on "live broadcasts and curated content," organizers have announced.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday said he would remove some U.S. troops from Germany and relocate them to Poland and other European and U.S. locations, a reaction to his long-standing complaint that Germany falls short on defense spending obligations to NATO.

Trump made the announcement after meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, the first foreign leader to visit the White House since the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to normal diplomatic events in March.

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.

The White House on Monday denied any malicious intent behind President Trump's use of the racist term "kung flu" this weekend to describe the deadly coronavirus pandemic, saying that the president had no "regrets putting the onus back on China" for the deadly virus.

"It's not a discussion about Asian Americans, who the president values and prizes as citizens of this great country. It is an indictment of China for letting this virus get here," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at the Monday news briefing.

President Trump on Tuesday will sign an executive order outlining his vision for police reform after the death of George Floyd — a black man killed last month by police — sparked international unrest regarding U.S. law enforcement's treatment of black people.

President Trump said Friday that "generally speaking," he thinks police should avoid using chokeholds, but he stopped short of saying he supports a ban on the tactic, explaining that he felt it would leave police officers without a measure they might need in certain one-on-one situations.

"I don't like chokeholds," Trump said an interview that aired on Fox News. "Sometimes, if you're alone and you're fighting someone, it's tough," he said.

"It would be, I think, a very good thing that, generally speaking, it should be ended."

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.

President Trump on Thursday briefly wore a protective face mask during his visit to a Ford Motor Co. plant — away from reporters' view — after stoking concern about his resistance to wearing the expert-recommended gear.

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.

Updated at 7:44 p.m. ET

President Trump and Vice President Pence will be "maintaining their distance in the immediate future" on the advice of the White House Medical Unit, a senior administration official told NPR. They were last seen together at the White House on Thursday.

At a Monday White House briefing, which the president attended but the vice president did not, Trump suggested that he might be keeping his distance from Pence for the time being.

"We can talk on the phone," Trump said.

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.

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