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 Tuesday renewed his pitch to Pennsylvania voters, painting himself as the only candidate who can save the country from Washington corruption, the degradation of the American dream and a decimated economy.

Speaking to supporters in Erie, Pa., Trump described his Democratic rival Joe Biden as a "radical left" extremist who would destroy the state through harsh clean-energy policies and the introduction of low-income housing to suburban communities.

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 at 9:51 p.m. ET

Democrats on Thursday made it clear they felt President Trump was at least in part to blame for an alleged scheme to kidnap the governor of Michigan, citing the president's divisive rhetoric that has often found support among white supremacists and other hate groups.

The eight-person U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with South Carolina to reinstate a mandate that absentee ballots require witness signatures, even as critics argue that the coronavirus puts an undue burden on voters to safely get a witness cosign on the ballots.

The order will not apply to ballots already cast or those mailed in within the next two days, but will apply to ballots going forward for the Nov. 3 general election.

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 11:57 p.m. ET

President Trump's physician said late Friday evening he is "doing very well" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and has started Remdesivir therapy, an intravenous anti-viral drug. "He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably," Sean Conley said in a statement.

Trump was taken to Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md., on Friday after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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.

Lawmakers are weighing in on President Trump's efforts to sow doubt in the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election and his assertion that mail-in ballots could compromise the timing of results.

With levels of distress predictably split along party lines, Democrats in Washington, D.C., have sounded alarm bells over Trump's refusal to outright agree to peacefully vacate office should he lose the White House race.

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.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is lying in repose at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday and Thursday, a two-day event honoring a justice who was both a cultural and legal icon.

As Ginsburg's casket arrived at the high court, former law clerks lined the Supreme Court steps. Supreme Court police officers served as pallbearers. Then the justice's family, close friends and members of the court held a brief ceremony in the court's Great Hall.

Sen. Lamar Alexander on Sunday said he supports fellow Republicans' efforts to take up a Supreme Court justice nomination during this presidential election year, squashing speculation that the retiring Tennessean might buck party leadership.

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."

Reactions to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death Friday focused, in large part, on how the court vacancy should be filled and whether President Trump, who is up for reelection on Nov. 3, could justifiably seek to appoint a new justice to the court so close to the election.

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.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that Florida can now order people with past felony convictions to fully pay off their fines before they will be allowed to register to vote, effectively disenfranchising thousands of the state's low-income residents.

The federal appeals court sided with the state of Florida in its controversial decision, which critics have likened to a "poll tax."

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.

President Trump has released an additional 20 names he would select from if any Supreme Court vacancies arise during his remaining time in office, including the president's rival-turned-Senate ally, Ted Cruz. The list also includes Sens. Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley as well as two former U.S. solicitors general.

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.

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