Alana Wise | New Hampshire Public Radio

Alana Wise

Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.

Before joining NPR, Alana covered beats including American gun culture, the aviation business and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Through her reporting, Alana has covered such events as large protests, mass shootings, boardroom uprisings and international trade fights.

Alana is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and an Atlanta native.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is backtracking on remarks he made on a popular black radio program on Friday that were criticized as questioning the cultural authenticity of black supporters of President Trump.

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said during an interview with Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God.

Biden's campaign later said the remarks, called "racist" by the Trump campaign, were made "in jest."

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.

President Trump on Wednesday criticized an administration official's caution over reopening the country too soon, especially sending children back to school.

Trump, who has bullishly recommended the country reopen to minimize the economic fallout from the virus, said he was taken aback by the cautious stance infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed this week in Senate testimony.

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.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

The White House on Friday confirmed a second case of coronavirus this week, now in Vice President Pence's office, as both the president and his No. 2 have recently begun traveling again.

Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller tested positive for the virus on Friday, after having tested negative Thursday.

President Trump told reporters Friday that Miller hasn't come into contact with him but has "spent some time" with the vice president.

The White House coronavirus task force rejected detailed guidance drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how workplaces ranging from schools to bars to churches should resume operations to prevent the spread of the virus because it was viewed as "overly prescriptive."

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says an accusation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden is "not clear-cut," but that it remains of great importance to listen to survivors and allow for proper due process in such cases.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

Editor's Note: For more on this government report, see this story.

Updated at 12:21 p.m. on May 2

The White House will not allow the leading immunologist on the coronavirus task force to testify to Congress next week, calling the request "counter-productive" to the administration's efforts to contain the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci's testimony had been requested by the House Appropriations Committee, as part of an investigation into the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A committee spokesman on Friday said the White House had blocked the doctor from appearing before the panel.

More Americans have now died from the coronavirus in less than two months than in the entire nine years of the Vietnam war — more than 58,000. But the United States crossed another threshold Tuesday — 1 million known coronavirus cases.

Vice President Pence responded to criticisms that he defied Mayo Clinic policy by not wearing a mask during his visit Tuesday to the campus, saying he complied with federal guidelines and felt it was his duty to speak to workers at the facility unencumbered by a facial covering.

"As vice president of the United States, I'm tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus," he told reporters, saying he is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton has officially thrown her support behind Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race against President Trump, who defeated Clinton in 2016.

The 2016 Democratic nominee and former secretary of state announced the endorsement in an online town hall with Biden on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on women. It's the latest high-profile endorsement racked up by the former vice president, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday.

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

At a short briefing Friday afternoon at the White House, President Trump touted the federal government's "aggressive strategy," saying "we are getting through this challenge together as one American family."

Trump earlier on Friday signed the latest economic relief package, as a handful of Republican-led states prepared to re-open their states' economies — with or without the president's blessing.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday said he disagreed with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to re-open a number of industries in his state, including hair salons and tattoo parlors, saying that he thought the move was premature in the face of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Trump broke with the Republican governor's call to ease social distancing rules in the state beginning on Friday, despite Trump's own insistence that some states could begin to relax mitigation measures before the beginning of May.

Updated on Friday at 12:33 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed off on an additional $484 billion in coronavirus relief efforts, which Congress passed earlier in the week. Here's what's in the legislation:

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The tension in America between the national government and states' rights is as old as the republic itself. That tension is about to play out in a starkly political way and on a grand scale over the next several weeks, as states consider how to reopen in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that adequate coronavirus testing existed but was being underutilized by governors, following a chorus of complaints by state leaders and health care experts regarding the country's insufficient testing capacity.

Updated 8:22 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday said states are well equipped to adequately test for COVID-19, a position that has been contradicted by state leaders and health care experts.

The Trump administration this week released a plan to begin reopening the U.S. economy, even as experts warn that the country has a long way to go before it can responsibly ease restrictions.

President Trump spoke to governors Thursday, outlining recommendations for states to reopen based on several factors.

The Trump administration has shared a guideline of three phases for states to begin easing social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders, according to a copy of the guidelines obtained by NPR's Tamara Keith.

Updated at 6:48 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday said that recent data suggest that the United States has made it through the worst of new coronavirus cases, as he seeks to reopen the pandemic-beaten national economy.

"The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases. Hopefully that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden at the daily coronavirus task force briefing. The task force did not share the data they used to reach that assessment.

President Trump's authority to unilaterally reopen states' economies was flatly rejected among experts this week after he declared on Monday that he had "total" authority to govern when states would ease coronavirus restrictions.

After receiving bipartisan blowback from his remarks, Trump on Tuesday attempted to backpedal his stance, saying that he would be coordinating with state governors to "authorize" the restart of their respective states' economies.

Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama officially endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, marking the Democratic establishment's formal consolidation around the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

Updated at 9:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and the leading immunologist on the White House coronavirus task force attempted to present a united front Monday, following speculation of a shake-up within the federal pandemic response effort.

Dr. Anthony Fauci — one of the more recognizable faces on the task force — and Trump pushed back on the notion that Fauci was on the outs with the president.

The nation's opinion of President Trump and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic are now on a downward turn, as the economy slumps and the death toll mounts in the virus's wake.

Updated at 7:30 p.m.

President Trump said more oil producers are "getting close to a deal" to try to put a floor under prices as demand for energy plummets amid the global pandemic.

Trump said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday that he'd just finished a conference call with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia and that he hoped they'd agree on a cut or another solution that would stabilize the cost per barrel.

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