Sean McMinn | New Hampshire Public Radio

Sean McMinn

Sean McMinn is the data editor on NPR's News Apps team.

Based in Washington, DC, McMinn writes and reports news stories for NPR.org, designs infographics, and develops software that helps journalists do their jobs.

McMinn came to NPR from CQ Roll Call, where he covered Congress and politics for three years as a data reporter. While there, he built interactives to help Americans better understand their government, and his reporting on flaws in FEMA's recovery programs led to the agency making changes to better serve communities struck by disaster. He also took part in an exchange with young professionals in North Africa and spent time in Egypt teaching data visualization and storytelling.

Before that, McMinn taught multimedia journalism to interns through a fellowship with the Scripps Howard Foundation.

He is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

McMinn is an alumnus of the National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Fellowship and has served as vice-chair at the National Press Club's Young Members Committee. He has also directed the Press Club's Press Vs. Politicians Spelling Bee fundraiser, which pits members of Congress against journalists to raise funds for the club's non-profit journalism institute.

McMinn is from Thousand Oaks, CA. He holds a journalism degree with a statistics minor from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, where he was a reporter and editor on the student newspaper, Mustang News.

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When COVID-19 claimed its first 100,000 lives in the U.S., Hidalgo County, Texas, seemed to have avoided the worst of it. The county, which sits on the border with Mexico, had just 10 deaths when the U.S. crossed that tragic milestone on May 27.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Democrats go into the final weeks of the presidential campaign with a cash advantage.

As of the beginning of this month, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign, combined with the Democratic Party, had about $30 million more in the bank than President Trump's reelection effort and the Republican Party, according to campaign finance filings made public Sunday evening.

Millions have lost their jobs during the coronavirus shutdowns, placing an unprecedented burden on public welfare programs designed to help people in these situations. For those people and others who are hurting financially as a result of the virus, it's often the case that where you live determines what kind of help is available.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, state and local health officials rush to try to detect and contain outbreaks before they get out of control. A key to that is testing, and despite a slow start, testing has increased around the country.

But it's still not always easy to get a test. While many things can affect access to testing, location is an important starting point.

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Updated on Sept. 20 at 11:44 p.m. ET

Which presidential candidate has the fundraising advantage?

More than 82,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. How many more lives will be lost? Scientists have built dozens of computational models to answer that question. But the profusion of forecasts poses a challenge: The models use such a wide range of methodologies, formats and time frames that it's hard to get even a ballpark sense of what the future has in store.

At a time when jigsaw puzzles may be harder to come by than toilet paper, the hot new item in the Trump campaign online store is a 200-piece puzzle, featuring a faintly smiling President Trump standing in front of an American flag, giving two thumbs up.

The $35 puzzle is just the latest example of the campaign capitalizing on in-the-moment merchandise.

State leaders are considering reopening economies and allowing people to leave their homes, but more and more Americans appear to be doing so on their own.

Emerging data suggest that though people dramatically altered their habits to stay at home during the first month of America's response to the pandemic, that cooperation has since leveled off and — eventually — decreased. This could point to long-term challenges for state governments asking citizens to cooperate with extended stay-at-home policies.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 5 p.m. ET, April 20

As COVID-19 surges in places throughout the country, Americans are left to wonder, "When will my state hit its worst point?"

The response to the growing threat of the coronavirus has varied widely in cities and counties across the country. Some are sheltering in place; others aren't.

A month after the Iowa caucuses, Super Tuesday offered up the first look at how a diverse swath of the country could vote in the Democratic presidential primary race.

Now that more than 1,200 counties across 18 states have voted, a clearer picture is emerging of whom different segments of the Democratic voter base are backing.

Editor's Note on June 4: We're no longer updating this page. For the latest on the money race between President Trump and his challenger, Joe Biden, go here.


Raising money isn't just a necessity for presidential candidates — it can also be a way to measure candidates' credibility and staying power.

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The Democratic Party is officially nominating Joe Biden as the party's presidential nominee on Aug. 18. Follow live coverage of the DNC here.

Updated on June 4, 2020

The Senate is scheduled to vote on President Trump's fate on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET after about two weeks of his impeachment trial.

The House of Representatives impeached the president in December, charging him with abusing his power and obstructing Congress for efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rivals.

Three years ago, only about one in ten high school students reported having recently used e-cigarettes. But a study published this week in JAMA shows the proportion of students vaping nicotine has now grown to more than one in four.

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Annie Haigler steps out of her home in Louisville, Ky., pulling a handkerchief out of her pocket to dab sweat off her forehead. She enjoys sitting on her porch, especially to watch the sunrise. She has always been a morning person.

But as the day progresses, the heat can be unbearable for her. On summer days like this, when highs reach into the 90s, the lack of trees in her neighborhood is hard for Haigler to ignore.

"That's what I'm accustomed to trees doing: They bring comfort. You don't notice it, you don't think about it. But they bring comfort to you," she says.

When Shakira Franklin drives from West Baltimore to her job near the city's Inner Harbor, she can feel the summer heat ease up like a fist loosening its grip.

"I can actually feel me riding out of the heat. When I get to a certain place when I'm on my way, I'll turn off my air and I'll roll my windows down," says Franklin. "It just seems like the sun is beaming down on this neighborhood."

Facing a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats who are issuing document demands and subpoenas, President Trump's White House counsel's office grew its payroll by nearly a third, newly released records reveal.

From 2018 to 2019, the counsel's office added 10 people.

Congressional negotiators are hurtling toward another deadline — Feb. 15 — to avoid a partial government shutdown. A bipartisan group of 17 lawmakers on the House and Senate appropriations committees are working to reach a deal to fund seven of the 12 outstanding annual bills to fund the federal government.

The controversy centers on just one of the funding measures for the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump waged the longest shutdown in U.S. history because the bill did not include enough money to help build his long-promised "wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The presence of Juul e-cigarettes in high schools across the country is increasing — and so is Juul Labs' lobbying presence in the nation's capital.

The company, which bills its product as "a satisfying alternative to cigarettes," spent $750,000 on lobbying during the last three months of 2018, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with Congress on Tuesday.

Receiving a $0 pay stub is not easy on any worker. But some of the thousands of federal employees and contract workers who live paycheck to paycheck say the lingering partial government shutdown feels devastating. They started the shutdown with little or no savings and no safety net to weather this kind of financial emergency.

Now, one month into the shutdown, even those who had a cushion are finding their bank accounts empty or negative and bills and loan payments piling up.

Most undocumented immigrants didn't enter this country through Tijuana, where news cameras have captured images of thousands of immigrants seeking refuge during recent months.

And they didn't enter near the border town of McAllen, Texas, which the president visited Thursday during the 20th day of a partial government shutdown fought over constructing additional barriers on the Southern border.

The issue of gerrymandering — the ability of politicians to draw legislative districts to benefit their own party — burst into view as a major political issue in 2018.

Even as voters and courts vigorously rejected the practice this year, politicians in some states are doing their best to remain in control of the redistricting process. Critics argue that amounts to letting politicians pick their own voters.

After decades of Americans gobbling up more and more turkey, production of the bird hasn't quite been flying the same in recent years.

The U.S. produced about 6 billion pounds of ready-to-cook turkey in each of the last two years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Those were among the highest production levels on record for the industry.

But just looking at those two years misses the bigger picture.

The country's cultural divide, as evidenced by Tuesday's elections, is a real one.

But there are some things that are part of the American experience, whether you're biking across Manhattan or driving a 4x4 through Montana.