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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 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.

President Trump took to the White House briefing room on Tuesday to praise his administration's response to the virus that has killed more than 140,000 Americans so far. In a reversal of his recent statements and tone, he acknowledged the severity of the pandemic and urged Americans to comply with preventative measures.

"It will likely unfortunately get worse before it gets better," Trump said in uncharacteristically somber remarks, encouraging Americans to social distance, practice good hygiene and wear masks.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Friday released his plan for how schools should safely reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, calling on Congress to pass a $30 billion emergency education package to support building upgrades and sanitation protocols ahead of students' return to onsite learning.

"The challenge facing our schools is unprecedented. President Trump has made it much worse. We had a window to get this right. And, Trump blew it," the Biden campaign said in a statement.

President Trump in a late evening Facebook post on Wednesday announced that campaign manager Brad Parscale has been replaced in that role by Bill Stepien, amid the president's slipping performance in polls and a recent embarrassment in failing to attract supporters to the president's comeback rally in Tulsa last month.

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.

A New York judge has lifted a restraining order against Mary Trump, niece of President Trump, that had prevented her from speaking publicly about her new tell-all book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.

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 1:25 a.m. ET Friday

Twitter users are calling for a boycott of Goya Foods, a brand most known for its Hispanic-staple food offerings, after the CEO of the company lavished praise on President Trump during a Thursday visit to the White House.

Robert Unanue, chief executive of the family-owned operation since 2004, said the country was "blessed" to have Trump at the helm, during remarks following a roundtable with Hispanic business and political leaders from across the country.

A group of former George W. Bush administration officials has pledged to "engage and mobilize disenchanted GOP voters" through a new super PAC formed to elect Joe Biden to the White House.

The group — 43 Alumni for Biden, a reference to Bush, the 43rd president — described its formation as an effort to restore "the principles of unity, tolerance and compassion to the greatest elected office in the world."

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

The political squall over alleged Russian bounties targeting U.S. troops strengthened on Tuesday amid potent new reports and deepening partisan rancor about what Washington should do next.

The day began with criticism by House Democrats of President Trump after a briefing at the White House on the allegations, which left the lawmakers calling for more information directly from the intelligence community.

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."

A growing number of leading Republicans are publicly embracing expert-recommended face masks as a means to slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus, in the wake of more than 125,000 Americans killed by the virus.

In recent months, the topic of wearing masks has become politically divisive, despite official health guidance that they are one of the best defenses to restricting the spread of the deadly respiratory disease, COVID-19, from one person to another.

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."

President Trump will formally accept the nomination as the Republican Party's choice for president in Jacksonville, Fla., instead of Charlotte, N.C., in late August following a dispute between Trump and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper regarding safety precautions of the large-scale gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican National Committee made the decision official Thursday after weeks of speculation about the party's move to host the event despite the ongoing health crisis.

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 9:31 p.m. ET

Escalating his rhetoric during a period of roiling national crises, President Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the U.S. military to cities or states that don't take "necessary" actions to halt violent protests, saying the armed forces will "quickly solve the problem for them."

Trump's Rose Garden remarks came as just across the street, law enforcement officers deployed tear gas and shot rubber bullets to forcefully disperse peaceful protesters. Washington, D.C., had set a curfew Monday of 7 p.m. ET.

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.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Friday said President Trump had directly threatened the health and safety of her state's residents through his coronavirus response, including his recent refusals wear a mask in public and defense of those protesting stay-at-home orders.

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