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.

 

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."

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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